Viewing figures have slumped since ITV lost its rights to show the competition

The Champions League could return to terrestrial TV after UEFA admitted that it was a “mistake” to exclusively award the Champions League to subscription television at the expense of terrestrial viewing.

According to the Daily Mail, the European ruling body believe that the lack of free-to-air television is detrimental to the competition.

Viewing figures have taken a hit – last week’s heavyweight clash between Manchester City and PSG only attracted 1.1m viewers – which is five times less than the figures usually attracted by broadcaster ITV.

BT won the rights to exclusively air the competition in a mega deal worth £897m over three years, however it is looking increasingly likely that the next Champions League TV rights contract in the UK will return to the older model of shared coverage between terrestrial and subscription channels.

According to The Mirror, it is understood that UEFA are extremely happy with the coverage provided by BT, but there is discontent with the viewing figures.

Later this year, the bidding process will commence to see who obtains the rights for the next Champions League contract. Sky and BT will again compete with each other, with ITV or another terrestrial expected to show live coverage.