BBC shut out of soccer rights

UEFA allots Champions League rights to ITV, BSkyB

LONDON — Soccer governing body UEFA snubbed the BBC’s bid for broadcast rights to Europe’s premier club competition even though it submitted the highest offer.

Instead, UEFA on Tuesday allotted the Champions League rights to commercial network ITV and paybox BSkyB.

The BBC reportedly bid £50 million ($78 million), some $16 million higher than ITV’s $62 million for Tuesday-night live matches plus highlight rights.

BSkyB is understood to have ponied up $67 million for Wednesday evening games and will screen Tuesday night games not broadcast by ITV via its interactive service.

The failure is a huge blow to the BBC, which harbors ambitions to be a heavyweight sports broadcaster.

However, the pubcaster has strict rules against carrying advertising, which could have influenced UEFA’s decision. Org must ensure that sponsors gain the maximum exposure.

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