Free-to-air (FTA) rights in Belgium for the 2024-27 cycle of pan-European soccer’s top-tier UEFA Champions League (UCL) have been retained by incumbent partners RTL and VTM.

Both RTL (French-language) and VTM (Dutch-language) unveiled the retention of these rights earlier today (November 28), covering the 2024-25, 2025-26, and 2026-27 seasons.

The two broadcasters, alongside pay-TV’s Proximus (run by the telecoms operator), are covering the UCL between them during the ongoing 2021-24 cycle.

The UCL media rights tender went live in Belgium, through European soccer’s governing body UEFA and its partner agency Team Marketing, on September 18. It had a bid submission deadline of October 16.

Guillaume Collard, RTL Belgium’s chief executive, has said: “It is a major challenge for RTL Belgium to strengthen its offering of premium sports content and we are delighted to be able to continue this world-renowned competition to our audiences.”

In 2024, RTL will celebrate 25 years consecutively of providing UCL coverage for a Belgian audience.

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By GlobalData

VTM, meanwhile, will provide live coverage of at least three UCL games every match day during the next cycle – up from two at the moment – it has been reported.

Belgium is represented in the 2023-24 UCL by Royal Antwerp.

The UCL’s current format will be altered substantially for 2024-25, taking on a new single-league structure instead of being split into multiple groups from which teams qualify for the knockout stage. The competition will expand from 32 to 36 teams and will incorporate 189 matches instead of the current 125.

Yesterday, UEFA opened a tender process for its club competitions – the UCL, the second-tier Europa League, and the third-tier Europa Conference League – in sub-Saharan Africa.

That process has a bid deadline of December 11.

During the current 2021-22 to 2023-24 cycle, UCL media rights in that part of Africa are held by a combination of the SuperSport (English-language) and Canal Plus (French-language) pay-TV broadcasters.

On the continent, meanwhile, an Albanian tender process began on November 7.