Long thought of as a poor cousin to the Champions League, the Europa League has taken on additional significance in recent years – particularly for English fans. With the increasing competitiveness of the Premier League and the competition for the top four, the Europa League has become an essential pathway to Champions League action – and the riches that come with it.
The result has been English clubs taking the tournament a lot more seriously than they had in the past. Given that the Europa League takes place in a range of far-flung destinations, your couch is by far the best seat in the house. Fortunately, there are some excellent live streaming options which will bring all the action to you, whether you’re on the couch or out and about.
The 2019-20 Europa League on UK TV
No longer just something to watch between Champions League and Premier League fixtures, the increasing competitiveness of English football has meant that the top English clubs frequently feature in the competition. This year, Manchester United and Arsenal will line-up in the Europa League, along with European heavyweights like Sevilla, Borussia Moenchengladbach, and Roma.
In recent years BT Sport has made European football their bread and butter, signing deals with UEFA for both the Europa League and the Champions League on an exclusive basis. While the deal does not allow for free to air TV stations to broadcast highlights as they did previously, BT Sport share highlights on social media – and have reached a whole new audience in doing so.
The company has also continued on their promise – made out of goodwill rather than by virtue of a contractual requirement – to show the Europa League final for free on YouTube. The deal not only gives plenty more significant access to the biggest game of the year, but it also provides an insight into BT’s excellent sports coverage.
BT Sport’s commentary team includes many of the best pundits, ex-players, coaches and journalists to give you a veteran’s insight into the game. Headed up by presenters Gary Lineker and Lynsey Hipgrave and including punditry from Rio Ferdinand, Owen Hargreaves, Michael Owen, Steve McManaman and Jermaine Jenas, your watching experience will be guided by the best voices in the business.
Europa League TV Preview
English clubs – and English football fans in general – have been guilty of ignoring the Europa League for the past few decades. This could be put down in part to England’s lack of success in the competition. From the 1980s up until 2012-13, only one England club won the competition – European football giants Liverpool FC.
From that point on, however, English clubs have sought to focus on the competition a little more. Other than an opportunity to build combinations and experience playing new teams, winning the Europa League gives clubs an opportunity to play Champions League football – and a share in the riches that come with it.
Chelsea lifted the title in 2012-13, while Manchester United triumphed in 2016-17. Last year’s final featured two English clubs – with Chelsea defeating Arsenal 4-1 to win their second trophy in the competition. This year, Champions League winners Manchester United will feature in the competition alongside CL finalists Arsenal FC.
Europa League Schedule (All times BST)
With the qualifying phase already having started in June, the preliminary games in the Europa League are well underway. The Group Stage is set to kick off on the 19th of September, running all the way through until mid-December.
In February 2020 the Knockout phase is set to begin, where the Round of 16 will take place. The Knockouts continue up until the final on May 30 at Stadion Energa Gdańsk, in Gdańsk, Poland.
The draws for the group rounds along with the Knockout phases have also been set in stone. The Group Stage draw takes place on August 30th, 2019, while the Round of 32 draw is pencilled in for December 16th, 2019. The draw for the Round of 16 will take place on February 28, 2020, while the final draw to determine the positions throughout the quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final is set for March 20, 2020.
19th September 2019: Group Stage Matchday 1
3rd October 2019: Group Stage Matchday 2
24th October 2019: Group Stage Matchday 3
7th November 2019: Group Stage Matchday 4
28th November 2019: Group Stage Matchday 5
12th December 2019: Group Stage Matchday 6
Watch or Stream the Europa League Live
From the Group Stage to the Knockouts, all the major fixtures in the Europa League take place midweek – making your couch or your mobile device the perfect location to soak up all the action. Currently there is no Europa League free to air TV provider in the UK, and this is because BT Sport has an exclusive arrangement with UEFA to screen both the Champions League and the Europa League until 2021.
BT TV has three packages – Classic, Entertainment and Max 4K – and all come with BT Sport. BT also offers the option to stream the Europa League free to eligible mobile devices using their mobile app, ensuring you won’t have to miss a minute no matter your schedule.
It should be noted that BT Sport is offered by other providers. Sky also offers BT Sport packages, and allows you to take the game with you using the Sky Go streaming app, for free. NOW TV announced in 2019 that they will expand their packages to include BT Sport starting with the 2019-20 season, but as yet the plans haven’t been made public.