ITV ‘prioritise’ Champions League TV return – but horse racing could lose out


ITV are ramping up their efforts to get Champions League back on terrestrial TV as the latest bidding war ensues.

BT Sport have the rights to the European competition which was last aired on ITV in 2015.

Back then they shared the rights with Sky Sports, but both were dwarfed by BT’s offer.

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ITV are now prepared to make the Champions League their priority – but it could come at the cost of horse racing, reports the Daily Mail .

It is clear from sources that the broadcaster do not have a “limitless pot” when it comes to sporting rights.

Racing has been a regular feature on ITV for several years now and a three-year contract extension from 2021 was due to be signed earlier this year.



All five days of Royal Ascot were aired on Sky this year

An offer of between £30m to £40m was tabled to the Jockey Club, but Royal Ascot looks to be the sticking point.

Sky’s racing channel had the sole rights to flat racing’s marquee summer event this year which draws in a huge audience.

There are fears that racing may soon follow in the footsteps of cricket and be wiped out among terrestrial channels.

Jockey Club chief Delia Bushell has become a main player in the proposed contract with ITV as she looks to secure the sport’s short-term future.

ITV has aired plenty of racing’s major events so far this such as the 1000 and 2000 Guineas as well as the Epsom Derby.

But football remains the biggest draw and ITV are keen to see it return, especially after the dominance of English clubs in a season that saw plenty of memorable moments.

Tottenham’s journey to the final was a real eye-catcher which culminated in their incredible last minute victory over Ajax.





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