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BT has insisted it is pleased with the viewing figures for its UEFA Champions League coverage.

According to Inside Sport, just 200,000 viewers have watched matches involving English clubs on BT Sport Showcase - a free-to-air channel.

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This compares with an average peak of 4.4 million during play-offs and group stage fixtures that were broadcast on ITV last season.

However, BT has defended the figures, arguing it is unfair to compare viewing numbers for BT Sport Showcase with ITV, since its new channel only launched this year, whereas ITV has been "running for decades".

A spokesman commented: "We’re pleased with the strong audiences we are seeing for UEFA Champions and Europa League football across our BT Sport channels, and we’ve seen a 46 per cent increase year-on-year in the average BT Sport audience over the last three months we’ve reported."

The spokesman added that football fans will be able to enjoy several top European matches on Freeview later this month, including Borussia Dortmund's clash with FC Porto and Juventus vs Bayern Munich.

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