The 2016/2017 Champions League starts on 13th September, with the final being played on the 3rd of June.
Real Madrid are the defending champions, last year beating Atletico Madrid 5-3 on penalties after extra time. They have progressed through to the semi final stages now and are the marginal favourites to retain the trophy. Here are all the important dates you need to get into your diary to make sure you avoid any clashes. Valentine’s day will be the tricky one for many.
- Group stages – 13th Sep – 7th Dec
- Round of 16 -14th Feb & 15th March
- Quarter Final – 11th – 19th April
- Semi Final – 2nd – 10th May
- Final – 3rd June
From next year there will be some changes to how matches are shown. Currently there can be two games that kick off at the same time of 7:45pm. Going forward, one of the matches will kick off at 6pm, and the second match will kick off at 8pm to enable people to watch more of the games. The 6pm fixtures will be a challenge to get out of work on time in the UK to see. We’re sure pubs around the corner from the office will do well out of this.
How to Watch the Champions League Live on TV
BT Sports hold the broadcasting rights in the UK, requiring a subscription.
However, as part of the deal, BT Sport will make the final available free to watch, including on Freeview. In the past, when BT Sport have had free to view games, it has only been broadcasted in standard definition, leaving people to reflect on how they ever coped watching live sport before HD rolled out.
There have been other, larger ‘issues’ with BT Sports holding the rights to the Champions League. Historically, when Sky held the rights in conjunction with ITV, it meant there were games available on terrestrial. That’s no longer the case. As a result, interest in the Champions League has been declining, and the amount of people watching it has reduced.
There was concerns at UEFA about this impacting the long term interest in the competition, so ahead of the most recent auction for rights, there was speculation that they would ensure some of the games was broadcasted on terrestrial again. There was evenn a rumour that Channel 4 could show some games.
However, things have got worse for fans without BT Sport. BT Sport trumped everyone with a bid of £1.2bn to extend their right to exclusively broadcast Champions League football up until 2021. We’re sure as soon as UEFA saw the £1.2bn bid, any concerns about accessibility to watch the games disappeared.
Furthermore, BT also won the rights to show highlights, so there will be absolutely no coverage of the tournament on terrestrial TV at all. Some highlights will be made available on social channels.
Champions League Betting Odds
It’s time for the final on Sunday and Real Madrid play Juventus in the final. Real Madrid are marginal favourites to retain the tournament, although its pretty even. Odds are courtesy of Bet 365 and correct at time of publishing:
- Real Madrid – 1.83
- Juventus – 2.00
Champions League Betting Offers
There are a loads of offers for the Champions League, and often new ones appear. See our football offers page for the latest ones, and we’ll continue to update this page each week.
- Money back if the game is a draw after 90 mins – If the game goes to extra time, Ladbrokes will refund losing bets as a free bet up to £25.
- Double winnings if either side hit the crossbar – Double winnings on all markets if either Juventus or Real Madrid hit the crossbar during the final.
- Get paid out as a winner if your team goes two goals up – This offer is from Paddy Power and is available for all games. If your team goes 2 goals up, Paddy Power will pay you out as a winner straight away. There has been some great historic comebacks in this competition, including Liverpool in Istanbul so nothing is a given here.
- Accumulators on your champions league bets – We’ve written up an entire article on where it is best to place your accumulator bet so we’d recommend heading over here to check them all out.