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ESPN acquires UEFA football rights for US
ESPN has reached an agreement with UEFA for the rights to the UEFA European Football Championship 2020 and all UEFA national team matches between 2018 and 2022.
ESPN will be the exclusive English-language home in the United States for UEFA Euro 2020, which will be played in stadiums across 13 European nations to mark the 60th anniversary of the competition.
Additionally, the deal grants ESPN the rights to a package of UEFA national team competitions, including qualifying matches to UEFA Euro 2020 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup (the European Qualifiers).
The rights also include two editions of the newly created UEFA Nations League where European National teams will be divided into four divisions according to their ranking. The 12 teams in the top division will compete to participate in the UEFA Nations League Final Four to be crowned the UEFA Nations League Champions.
The first edition of the UEFA Nations League will start in September 2018 and the first UEFA Nations League Final Four will be played in June 2019.
“The UEFA European Football Championship is one of the marquee events in international football and as fans in the U.S. continue to follow the sport overseas, the interest in this tournament will only get stronger,” said Scott Guglielmino, ESPN SVP, programming and acquisitions.
“We are pleased to continue our relationship with UEFA and our commitment to presenting world-class global football events on our networks and across our media platforms.”
ESPN has served as the US television and digital home for the UEFA European Football Championship since 2008. Nearly 40 million viewers in the US watched live UEFA European Football Championship matches on ESPN networks in both 2008 and 2012, and 42.8 million viewers watched ESPN presentation of EURO 2016.
Guy-Laurent Epstein, marketing director of UEFA Events SA, added: “UEFA looks forward to continuing its longstanding partnership with ESPN on the European Championships and to deepen the relationship on European national team football with ESPN also acquiring the right to broadcast the European Qualifiers and the UEFA Nations League, UEFA’s new European competition starting in September 2018. As one of the world’s leading sports broadcasters, we are convinced that ESPN, both on traditional TV and across its other outlets, will offer an excellent viewing experience to all English speaking football fans in the United States.”
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