The prospect of there being no Champions League football on terrestrial television is on the cards after BSkyB yesterday secured a three-year deal to show most Champions League matches from 2009. The deal starts after next season and runs through to the end of 2011-12.
BSkyB will get the exclusive live rights to all games except one in each round up to the semi-finals, when it will show one leg of each tie. The satellite and digital broadcaster has also secured shared rights to the final and the European Super Cup.
ITV and the BBC are expected to compete with Sky for the right to broadcast the other game on Wednesday nights. Uefa, the European game's governing body, said that it had received a number of offers for the remaining rights and had invited a second round of bidding.
The BSkyB chief executive, Jeremy Darroch, said: "We have secured an excellent rights package at a price we believe reflects their value to our customers and recognises the increasing attractiveness of this competition to our business. The Champions League is going from strength to strength."
Neither BSkyB nor Uefa would say how much the broadcaster paid, though there were reports that Sky's bid was around £240m. Vic Wakeling, the managing director of Sky Sports, said: "We have used digital technology over the last five seasons to offer a menu of live games. It has worked superbly and given viewers choice."