BT Sport have announced that they will be broadcasting the Champions League and Europa League finals for free to ‘absolutely anyone’ in the UK.
In what is an unprecedented event in broadcasting history, both tiers of European football will have their finals broadcast on BT’s traditional formats as well as YouTube, opening the showpiece events up to a huge audience.
The Champions League final between Juventus and Real Madrid on June 3 in Cardiff will also be broadcast in 360° virtual reality, which BT says gives spectators the option to watch the game from whichever angle they choose.
This is what BT Consumer CEO John Petter had to say following Tuesday’s announcement (via BT Sport):
“Making the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League available for free to everyone in the UK shows that BT really is serious about making sport much more accessible to the public.
“These are two of the biggest club football tournaments in the world and showing them live on social media and on mobile devices makes it more readily available to a younger audience as well as available to traditional TV viewers.
“We believe that VR can offer our viewers an immersive second screen view which will enhance our coverage. We’re excited to be broadcasting what we believe to be the biggest multi-camera live 360° sporting event ever for the first time to our customers.”
The Champions League final pits two heavyweights of the game in Europe against one another as Zinedine Zidane vies to become the first manager to retain the trophy in its current format in just his second season at the helm of the Bernabeu club.
Meanwhile, Juve’s legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is aiming to pick up the one accolade which has so far alluded him in his career.
The Europa League final has a lot riding on it too with Manchester United aiming to mark Jose Mourinho’s debut season in the north-west with a second trophy and Champions League football next season while Ajax look to return to the group stages having last made it that far in 2014/15.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena