Champions League Live

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Champions League Live
Genre Sport
Opening theme Champions League
Ending theme Champions League
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
Running time 150-220 minutes
(inc. commercials)
Original channel ITV, STV, UTV
Sky Sports
External links

Champions League Live is a football programme currently shown on both ITV and Sky Sports in the United Kingdom, broadcasting live UEFA Champions League football.

Under the current rights agreement, the ITV network (ITV, STV and UTV) shows one live match on a Tuesday, with Sky Sports showing all other matches via its interactive service. On Wednesdays, Sky Sports show all eight games, including those involving the English clubs. Both channels show the final live. Despite sharing the name, the various programmes are different productions. In the 1990s ITV were the only British company to have coverage and showed matches on Tuesday and Wednesday involving British teams and this was branded as The Big Match - Champions League Live. Towards the end of the millennium ITV coverage was on Wednesday night on ITV and ITV2 with Tuesday night on On Digital or the ITV Sport Channel and some on the ITN/ITV News Channel. In 2002 Sky won the rights and ITV only had 2 picks for Tuesday matches with matches on ITV and ITV2 or ITV4 when that launched and the rest on sky on their sports channels or via their digital service. This remained up to 2008 season when Sky won all the rights bar first pick on Wednesday night which remained with ITV and this meant no live coverage on ITV4 bar highlights or preview programmes, this was in turn with ITV making Wednesday night their main football night with FA Cup replays, England Internationals and Champions League on Wednesday night. In 2012 ITV coverage returned to Tuesday nights as England Internationals and FA Cup shifted back to Tuesday night and yet again Tuesday night is ITV's main football night.


On ITV, Adrian Chiles presents live coverage with Matt Smith presenting highlights. Punditry comes from Lee Dixon and Roy Keane. Dixon joined in 2012 after leaving the BBC. Some guests occur for each individual match such as Gordon Strachan, Ian Wright and Roberto Martinez. The commentators are Clive Tyldesley and Andy Townsend. Reporting comes from Gabriel Clarke and Ned Boulting. Commentators on highlights programmes include Jon Champion, Sam Matterface and Joe Speight.

Previous presenters for ITV coverage was Elton Welsby, Matthew Lorenzo, Bob Wilson, Des Lynam, Steve Rider, Gabby Logan, Craig Doyle and Jim Rosenthal. Former regular ITV pundits included Terry Venables, Ally McCoist, Martin O'Neill, Gareth Southgate and Robbie Earle. Former ITV commentators include Peter Brackley, John Helm, Guy Mowbray, Ian Crocker, Jim Proudfoot and Peter Drury. Former co-commentators include Ron Atkinson, David Pleat and Jim Beglin.

Bob Wilson hosted the 1999 Final which Manchester United won against Bayern Munich, Gabby Logan hosted the 2005 and 2006 finals which Liverpool won against AC Milan and Arsenal lost against Barcelona. Steve Rider hosted in 2008 when Manchester United beat Chelsea while Doyle and Rosenthal hosted ITV4 coverage and highlights.

In Northern and Central Scotland, STV produce and broadcast their own Champions League coverage but only when a Scottish team is playing in the ITV match — e.g. Rangers v Manchester United on Wednesday 24 November 2010. If no Scottish club is involved in the ITV match, STV will carry ITV's coverage. The programmes are produced in-house by STV News. The most recent example was Celtic v Juventus in 2012–13, which had commentary from Derek Rae and Alan Brazil.

Sky Sports[edit]

On Sky Sports, there are a large number of commentators and co-commentators due to the interactive coverage showing every match live. The programme is presented in the Sky Sports studio, covering all matches shown. Jeff Stelling is the presenter with David Jones or Ben Shephard the secondary presenter, with punditry variously from Jamie Carragher, Jamie Redknapp, Gary Neville, Graeme Souness, Ray Wilkins, Glenn Hoddle, Michael Ballack, Ruud Gullit, Dwight Yorke and Didi Hamann.

Commentators include Martin Tyler, Rob Hawthorne, Alan Parry, Bill Leslie, Daniel Mann, Kevin Keatings, Gary Weaver, Tony Jones and Rob Palmer, co commentators include Gary Neville, Alan Smith, Niall Quinn, Davie Provan, Tony Gale, Gerry Armstrong, Neil McCann, Garry Birtles, Trevor Francis and Alan McInally.

External links[edit]