First BT Showcase Champions League Game Announced – Freeview Alert!
Monday August 28th 2015
Chris: The full BT press release is below – thanks to BT for this. I will be back at the bottom of the release with my observations from this.
BT SPORT TO SHOW MANCHESTER UNITED UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE CLASH ON BT SPORT SHOWCASE
The first UEFA Champions League live match shown on BT Sport Showcase will be Manchester United’s vital second leg play off against Club Brugge next Wednesday, August 26.
The clash, which will determine whether the Red Devils qualify for the next stage of the competition, will be shown for free on BT Sport Showcase, on Freeview channel 59, with coverage starting at 7pm for a 7.45pm kick off.
United lead 3-1 after the first leg at Old Trafford, after a last-minute header from Marouane Fellaini gave them a two-goal lead to protect at the Jan Breydel stadium in Bruges, Belgium.
Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said: “We are delighted to offer this finely poised second leg match as the first live match that will be freely available on BT Sport Showcase. It will give Freeview viewers the opportunity to enjoy a great live European tie and take a look at the new BT Sport Champions League coverage, if they are not already subscribers.”
The show will be fronted by Gary Lineker and analysis provided by ex-Manchester United legends Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand.
BT Sport is the only place to watch all of the 351 exclusively live UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League matches, and will show at least 12 UEFA Champions League matches and 14 UEFA Europa League ties exclusively live on BT Sport Showcase, where customers can enjoy the action for free.
The game will also be shown on BT Sport Europe for existing BT Sport customers.
Chris: BT has to screen 12 Champions League games free each season for the next three years… this is the first. I wasn’t expecting a play off game to be shown in honesty, but with 11 more games to screen, it’s likely we’ll now see 6 group games shown free, the final, plus maybe four games from the last 16, meaning the latter stages (quarter and semi finals) will be exclusive to BT Sport Europe customers before the final (which has to be screened free) is aired on BT Showcase. It will be interesting to check out the BT Sport coverage – coverage starts at 7pm and finishes at 10:15pm. (ITV’s coverage normally started at 7:30pm and ended for the news at 10pm, so more time for analysis and features at least). It’s not perhaps the best match to start the free-to-air coverage with, United already have a two goal advantage and I suspect they will be make it through to the group stages without complication. But it’s a big name to attract viewers to the channel – if viewers can find United in an early game, then the channel will be remembered for future rounds. BT Showcase is located on Freeview Channel 59. Highlights during Champions League rounds can be found on ITV Wednesday evenings at 10:40pm.