BT Sport confirms Live YouTube broadcast of Champions League and Europa League Finals for free
BT Sport has confirmed that it will show the Champions League and Europa League finals for free on YouTube.
The broadcaster confirmed the move after revealing in April that it was considering showing the matches for free in an effort to make the highly anticipated fixtures more widely available.
In a statement announcing the decision BT Sport said: "Neither final has ever been made available for free on the video platform before.
“By doing so, it will bring the matches within reach of millions of additional fans who do not yet subscribe to BT Sport.”
John Petter, chief executive of BT Consumer, said by showing the games for free it was "bringing BT Sport to a new generation of younger sports fans who view their entertainment online, through social media and on their mobile devices"
He added: "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”.
The two finals will be shown live on YouTube on separate pages as well as being shown on the Freeview BT Sport Showcase channel.
BT Sport holds the exclusive live rights to the Uefa Champions League after purchasing a three year rights deal across the 2015-16 to 2017-18 campaigns at a cost of £897m.
Following on from a slump in viewing figures after the games vanished from terrestrial TV BT Sport began looking into how it could reach a wider audience.
The move reflects a growing shift in how people consume sports and the struggle which sports broadcasters have with adapting to the changes in viewing habits. In an effort to grow its audience and take advantage of the growing dominance of digital the NFL partnered with Twitter in a deal to broadcast live games for free and online in the US.
This season's Champions League final, which will take place on 28 May, will see Real Madrid take on Atlético Madrid.
The Europa League final between Liverpool and Sevilla is in Basel on 18 May.