LONDON: BT Sport has retained exclusive rights to broadcast all UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League football matches until the end of the 2020-21 season.

The new three-year contract, which is worth £1.2bn or £394m per season, will run from the start of the 2018-19 season and means the sports division of the UK's largest mobile and broadband operator has seen off fierce competition from Sky.

It also means that highlights from the Champions League will no longer be shown on terrestrial TV, although BT Sport said in a statement that the finals of both competitions would be made available for free on social media.

BT streamed both finals last year on YouTube for the first time, gaining an audience of 12m football fans, and the company confirmed that it plans to enhance its social media coverage to reach new audiences. This will include showing video clips, weekly highlights and UEFA's magazine show.

"BT Sport has proved to be an innovative broadcast partner, pushing the boundaries and covering the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League in new ways," said Guy Laurent Epstein, UEFA's Marketing Director.

"BT have delivered strong audiences in the UK and we are excited about their future plans for the use of social media which will engage a growing fanbase that consumes sport in different ways."

The deal will also see BT Sport screen the Champions League's new "double header" nights, with 6pm and 8pm kick off times during the group stages, and some games will be made available in 4K ultra high definition.

"The UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League are two of the best competitions in the world and we would like to thank UEFA for choosing us as their exclusive broadcast partner in the UK," said John Petter, Consumer CEO at BT.

"The UEFA Champions League is due to get even stronger and we are delighted that fans will be able to enjoy two live matches a night for the first time."

Data sourced from BT Sport; additional content by Warc staff