The demise of terrestrial TV

Over the years we have witnessed some of the greatest sporting moments that go down in history. In Ireland and the UK we did have all the World Heavyweight Boxing title matches. Even though I was not born then I often hear the older folks talking about the time Ali fought Frazier ‘The Thrilla in Manila’. They watched it on the TV for free. As an avid Formula One fan I watched each of Michael Schumacher’s world championships after 1995. I have witnessed the rise of Sebastian Vettel free of charge. The Champions League is a competition that I thoroughly enjoy following, watching the brilliance of Messi at the present time and having the goal the Zidane scored in the Final against Leverkusen years ago will remain etched in my mind forever.
Unfortunately pay per view (PPV) TV has been eroding my enjoyment of sporting moments.

sports on TV

The big boxing events are no longer on UK or Irish terrestrial TV and we only get half of the Formula One schedule for free. Now the much loved by many; the Champions League is now leaving free terrestrial TV for the big money PPV.

BT Sport wins Champions League rights

£897 million is the cost of winning the rights to broadcast live the Champions League and Europa League football matches for three years. That amounts to 350 live games each season from 2015. A BT spokesperson apparently softened the blow by announcing that ‘some’ matches would be aired live including the finals.
Previously in the UK Sky and ITV had a share of the broadcast rights, meaning the Champions league will only be broadcast by one provider. ITV and Sky could not compete with the valuation by BT who have valued the contract at double the price of the current broadcasting deal

Who wins and who loses

Of course the fans are ultimately losing out as those who can not afford to subscribe may miss out on those legendary moments. Pubs may benefit from fans attending to watch games however most use Sky subscriptions therefore they will need to invest in new subscriptions. Sky will also lose out on viewers and could lose subscribers. Filling the void of champions league games mean probably more mundane sports such as cricket broadcasts becoming more popular.
The deal will benefit clubs as each qualifying team for the Champions League will gain an extra £25 million. However the deal has all the makings for the rise of illegal piracy broadcasts online.