It must have been tough being at BT Sport these last few months. Up until Barcelona's dismantling of Juve on Saturday they have had to remain fairly quiet about its own plans for next season when they have full TV rights to both the Champions League and Europa League.
Well that silence was smashed today with a noise approaching the roar that greeted the lifting of the famous trophy itself.
Stars including Lineker, Gerrard, Ferdinand and even the Special One Jose Mourinho were all on hand as it unveiled its line-up and tactics for next season. Here we break down just what BT Sport is bringing to the party when the action kicks off.
Champions of Europe
If you didn't know it already, now you do, every Champions League and Europa League game will be on BT Sport – and nowhere else – next season. This means BT's football output grows considerably. One stat it was proud to repeat was that it will show 115 games featuring Premier League sides next season. It will show 146 Champions League Games alone.
The new content also means BT Sport will not just be something for the weekend. It will have European action on through Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights and will appeal to pubs looking to attract the midweek crowd. You also no longer have to worry if the game is on either Sky or ITV. Trust us, if it's European competition, it's on BT Sport.
With a hefty portion of new content pubs are being given a new menu to order from. To start with there is a new channel - BT Sport Europe - which will see the likes of Gary Lineker serve up all of the European action you could ask for with every Champions League game available thanks to red button technology. Pubs that want the European games will need to sign up for the newly created BT Sport Total package, which comprises BT Europe, BT Sport 1 and 2 and ESPN on BT Sport
So how much is it then...?
Good question. As with Sky the cost is based on your rateable value. What BT Sport considers an average pub (Band F) will pay around £395 a year. Pubs that choose Total will pay anywhere between £116 and £1,700 a year. The reality is that BT Sport will cost more next year if you opt to have the new content, but then there is a helluva lot more content. An equivalent Sky package is 60 per cent more expensive, according to BT Sport's sums.
However, in a cute move, BT Sport has dropped the price of its now standard package by seven per cent a year. So you could actually show the same number of Premier League games (38) as the season just gone for less. This reflects the loss of some FA Cup and rugby content. It is also a crafty dig at its big rival Sky which froze prices for commercial subscribers last month despite the loss of the Champions League.
A dozen Champions League games and 14 Europa matches, including at least one featuring every British team competing, will also be available for free to subscribers and non-subscribers. The free-to-air channel will be called BT Sport Showcase and will be available on digital TV.
Customers who signed up with BT Sport from the start can also expect a loyalty bonus. If you have been with them since season one (2013-14) you can expect 15 per cent off your bill. The discount percentage decreases to 12 per cent for those who signed up last season.
So who will be bringing you the action? A team that has more caps than a gangster's gun cupboard, that's who. And Harry Redknapp. Top signings include the Des Lynam of his day, Gary Lineker, who will host the midweek action along with BT Sport's current anchor Jake Humphrey. They will be joined by star pundits including Steven Gerrard, Rio Ferdinand, Glenn Hoddle, Michael Owen, Owen Hargreaves, Ian Wright... we could go on, but you get the picture. At the launch event, before a Q&A with Jose Mourinho, Jake Humphrey said that BT Sport's ambition is to be considered as the number one sports broadcaster in the country. They are thinking and spending big to make this happen.
Promotional help is also available for pubs who join BT. Pub screens can be turned into a promotional opportunity featuring BT Sport content plus the pub's own events in a deal signed with Screach. Free equipment and installation is available for the first 1,000 pubs that sign-up. An online resource, called The Manager's Office, will help pub's promote themselves online and through social media. BT's Sport Bar Finder (in partnership with Inapub) is also being re-launched.
Not just football
Football is now the all hailing European monarch as far as BT Sport is concerned but there is plenty of other content for non-football fans. This includes Aviva Premiership rugby union, Moto GP women's tennis, UCF (that's cage fighting), baseball and basketball.