BT garde les droits TV du football européen pour 1.2 milliards de livres

L’appel d’offres des droits TV de la Champions League et de l’Europa League est en cours et vient de connaitre son dénouement dans l’un des marches phares du vieux Continent : le Royaume-Uni. En effet, BT (British Telecom), déjà propriétaire des droits, a confirmé avoir remporté ce nouvel d’offre, battant l’autre grande chaine et bouquet sportif, Sky, avec une offre mirobolante, évaluée à 1.3 milliards d’euros !

Cette offre représente une augmentation de 32% vs. le contrat actuel évalué à 1 milliard d’euros, et permettra à BT d’écarter à nouveau Sky pour une durée de 3 ans. 

Comme expliqué plus haut dans cet article, BT a donc acquis les droits TV pour les matchs de l’UEFA Champions League ET l’UEFA Europa League et ce jusqu’à la saison 2020/21. La chaîne britannique bénéficie donc l’exclusivité pour toutes les rencontres en direct, les résumés et les extraits des rencontres des deux compétitions. 

« Il y a deux matchs de suite ce qui donne l’opportunité au consommateurs de s’adonner à une « beuverie de football » (binge-watching en anglais) a déclaré John Petter, consumer CEO de British Telecom, à CNBC. Ce « binge-watching » fait référence au calendrier des matchs puisque BT pourra retransmettre deux matchs d’affilée, celui de 18h et 20h heure de Londres. 

Mr. Petter a admis que l’appel d’offres fut rude mais cette nouvelle configuration permettra à BT de rester financièrement sain grâce aux plages publicitaires plus importantes et donc générant plus de revenus qu’auparavant.

Avant que BT Sport n’entre sur le marché il y a 2 ans de cela, Sky Sports et ITV se partageaient le gâteau de la Champions League pour un montant proche des 400 millions de livres (soit 463 millions d’euros). Depuis les chiffres d’audience ont montré un net ralentissement, ce qui aurait dû se traduire par une baisse du montant des droits TV mais l’inflation rampante des droits TV pour les compétitions premium ont eu raison du désintérêt local. 

Pour remporter cet appel d’offres, BT a promis une refonte de son offre de contenus, avec notamment la mise à disposition gratuitement de clips et résumés sur les réseaux sociaux, pour tous les matchs de la compétition, ainsi que la sacro-sainte finale. A noter que l’année dernière, BT avait « streamé » les finales sur YouTube et a de ce fait, ajouté 12 millions de télespectateurs à ses audiences. 

Avec ce nouveau contrat et ce nouveau cycle, ITV ne sera plus en mesure de diffuser des résumés de matchs de la Ligue des Champions. Néanmoins, BT s’est vu autoriser le droit d’explorer la piste de la « sous-licence » avec des chaînes gratuites comme Channel 4 et justement ITV, après avoir expressé ses doutes quant à l’audience et l’exposition de la compétition sous ce nouveau deal. 

Guy-Laurent Epstein, Directeur Marketing de l’UEFA, a déclaré : « BT a été en mesure de générer des audiences importantes au ROyaume-Uni et nous avons hâte de voir l’impact de leurs futurs plans et notamment l’utilisation des réseaux sociaux auprès d’une cible grandissante de fans qui consomment le sport autrement. »




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