Amazon wins rights to Champions League matches in the UK

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Amazon has secured live rights to the Champions League in the United Kingdom for the first time from 2024.

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The technology giant will have the first pick of matches on a Tuesday, with BT Sport retaining the rest of the rights to the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League.

The UK deal is understood to be worth around £500 million (R10 billion) a year to UEFA for the three seasons between 2024 and 2027 – an increase of 20 percent on the current cycle.

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Amazon already holds the UK rights to 20 Premier League matches per season.

“The addition of UEFA Champions League football is a truly momentous moment for Prime Video in the UK,” said Alex Green, the managing director of Amazon Prime Video Sport Europe.

Champions League matches will increase

A new format to the Champions League will begin in the 2024/25 season with the competition expanded to 36 teams and all clubs playing eight group games.

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The “Swiss Model” revamp will see the number of games in the competition overall increase from 125 to 189.

UEFA is aiming for total broadcast revenue from this cycle to reach $5 billion per season, up from the current $3.6 billion a year.

Discussions are ongoing between UEFA, the European Clubs Association and the European Leagues group over how that revenue will be divided up.

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Jacco Swart, managing director of the European Leagues, has called for a fairer distribution among all European clubs to protect the competitive balance of competition.

However, Manchester United’s chief financial officer, Cliff Baty, argued the top clubs deserve their greater share.

“The pie is getting bigger,” said Baty.

“The reason the broadcasters are paying that much money is for the product, frankly at the Champions League level.”

By Garrin Lambley © Agence France-Presse

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