ONdigital scores with Manchester United and Arsenal live, every Champions League match shown in full - and new ONgoals programme

9th August 1999

ONdigital will not only show every Manchester United and Arsenal Tuesday night UEFA Champions League match live and exclusive, it will also bring its subscribers every UEFA Champions League match - 157 matches in all.

That means 16 matches a week - during the first group stages of this year's championship alone. And for the first year, it is free. ONdigital is the only way to see all live UEFA Champions League and all live televised Premier League football.

Ashley Faull, ONdigital's Executive Director of Broadcasting, says:

"Televised football has never been like this before. Every goal, as it happens. Every match, every week. 16 matches a week in the first group stage. 157 matches. And free to our customers. It must be the best football deal of all time."

Over the six weeks of the opening Group matches, this will mean 96 matches being shown - two matches every weekday and three on Saturdays and Sundays. Over the Championship as a whole, it will mean 157 matches. This is by far the most extensive television coverage ever of the UEFA Champions League in the UK. It means ONdigital has more coverage of top level football than any other UK platform.

At least one British club will play every Tuesday night throughout the opening Group matches of the UEFA Champions League campaign - and it will be seen live and exclusively only by ONdigital customers. ONdigital will also carry live coverage of another top match on Wednesday evenings. In addition to Manchester United and Arsenal, who are already through, Chelsea and Glasgow Rangers could also feature live should they qualify for the UEFA Champions League from the current qualifying round matches on August 11 and on August 25.

In addition, ONdigital will offer its customers a new seven nights a week service - Champions on 99 - which on Tuesday night will carry a new concept in football programmes, ONgoals, running at the same time as the main match. Viewers will see every goal from every game, as they happen, on Tuesday evenings with live coverage of all eight games, through television feeds from all the matches around Europe. The presenters will take viewers from game to game showing goals, goal-mouth incidents and other key action from each match, as it happens. It will be 90 spectacular minutes of the best and most exciting football action from across Europe - all in one place. It could bring 22 goals in 90 minutes, if last season's average is maintained.

As well as the live matches on Tuesday and Wednesday nights and ONgoals, ONdigital will show all the other matches played on those nights, during the course of the week, in full. Every night, at 7.45pm and 9.55pm, customers will be able to tune in and see two of the matches in full. On Saturdays and Sundays, there will be a third match at 3pm.

In all, ONdigital will show over 50 hours of coverage across each UEFA Champions League week in the first Group stages, with previews and reviews of all the matches, specially produced features on the teams and their players and UEFA's official magazine show.

Jim Rosenthal will host the Tuesday night programming, presenting the match coverage live from the ground. Angus Loughran - known as Statto to millions of viewers of TV's Fantasy Football League - will present the ONgoals coverage. Independent Sports Network (ISN), who produce all ITV's football coverage, will produce the majority of ONdigital's output, with ONgoals produced by Art in Sport.

To promote its UEFA Champions League coverage, ONdigital has launched a massive £5m eight-week advertising campaign, using TV, newspapers and the Internet - ONdigital will be advertising on the six top soccer sites and on the official sites of the qualifying clubs.

In another first, ONdigital has teamed up with IPC Magazines "World Soccer" publication. The masthead publishing deal will see World Soccer credits appearing in and around a "behind the scenes" look at a European club in action that night. The programmes will be shown in the run up to each Tuesday night's match, using World Soccer's extensive editorial contacts to produce a uniquely authoritative soccer programme, called "World Soccer ON......".

ONdigital began broadcasting on November 15 last year as the world's first digital pay television service through an aerial and had 247,000 subscribers by the end of June 1999. Mike Tyson's last fight was shown ONdigital, which also has the rights to his next fight, expected on October 2. ONdigital has also covered Test cricket from India, as well as exclusive live entertainment, including Pavarotti at Earls Court and All Saints at Wembley. All have been free to ONdigital customers.

Notes to Editors

  1. UEFA Champions League matches are free to all ONdigital customers subscribing to six or more primary channels at £9.99 a month.
  2. Tuesday night matches will use Channel 28; ONgoals and matches on other nights will be shown on Champions on 99 (Channel 99). Viewers will need to add Channel 99 by a simple process, which is outlined in the ONdigital Listings Guide.