BT’s Champions League deal hits BSkyB shares

Nearly £1.4bn was wiped from the stock market value of BSkyB, with shares down nearly 10%

Nearly £1.4bn was wiped from the stock market value of BSkyB on Monday as the City reacted to its loss of the rights to broadcast live Champions League and Europa League football matches to BT Sport.

BSkyB shares tumbled more than 9% and ITV’s were down 3% after BT revealed an exclusive £897m three-year deal with European governing body Uefa to broadcast all 350 fixtures from 2015. BT shares were 2% lower.

At £299m a year over the three years of the deal, BT is paying more than double the £400m BSkyB and ITV are paying for the current three-year contract.

The loss of the contract is a major blow for BSkyB and ITV, which currently share the rights. Sky said BT’s bid for the deal was “far in excess” of its own, while ITV, said it was “not prepared to pay over the odds”. Shares in BT, a newcomer to sports broadcasting, were trading 2% down amid fears in the City that it has massively overpaid.

Announcing the deal on Saturday, the newly appointed BT chief executive Gavin Patterson hailed it as “giving sport back to the fans”. He defended the amount paid, saying it injected “a welcome element of competition” into the market.

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