BT is to stream two of the biggest football matches on the world for free on YouTube.
The Champions League final and the Europa League final will both be available to watch for free on YouTube. Previously they could only be watched by people paying for the £21.99-per-month package, since BT Sport has exclusive rights to both competitions.
The games – Real Madrid against Atletico Madrid on 28 May, and Liverpool versus Sevilla a week and a half earlier – will be shown BT’s YouTube channel, which is calls Freeview BT Sport Showcase. They’ll be available on youtube.com/btsport and bt.com.
Both games will only be available to people within the UK, a BT Sport representative said.
The company said that it had made the decision as a way of maximising the number of people who could watch the game.
A range of sports broadcasters and leagues are moving towards video hosting sites and social networks as ways of getting more and younger people involved in watching them. That culminated in an announcement earlier this year that Twitter would start streaming American football games as part of a deal with the NFL.
BT’s announcement made clear that it had made the move as part of its “wider digital strategy”.
“We’ve always said we wanted to give top quality sport back to the people and making the UEFA Champions League and Europa League finals free to everyone in the UK does this in a big way,” said John Petter, the chief executive of BT Consumer.
“We’re also bringing BT Sport to a new generation of younger sports fans who view their entertainment online, through social media and on their mobile devices. We plan to make these finals the most social sports broadcast ever, with lots of exciting content in the build-up and on the night across YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Vine”.
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