ESPN Acquires Rights to 2012 and 2016 UEFA European Football Championships

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

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February 1st, 2011

via press release:

ESPN Acquires Rights to 2012 and 2016 UEFA European Football Championship™

Comprehensive Multimedia Rights in All Languages in United States

ESPN has reached a broad multimedia rights agreement with the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) for the UEFA European Football Championship™ in both 2012 and 2016, it was announced today.  ESPN will be the exclusive home in the United States in all languages for UEFA EURO 2012™ and UEFA EURO 2016™, which will feature the top European national teams competing in one of the world’s most prestigious championships.

The agreement allows ESPN to provide extensive and exclusive live coverage of the UEFA EURO 2012 and 2016 across a variety of ESPN multimedia platforms, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3.com, ESPN Radio, ESPN Authenticated Services, ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN.com, ESPNSoccernet.com, and ESPNDeportes.com.  ESPN Deportes will be the exclusive Spanish-language television network in the United States for both championships.  In addition, in-progress and post-match highlights can be featured across key ESPN outlets.

The agreement extends ESPN’s relationship with UEFA, the governing body for association football in Europe, having served as the U.S. television and digital home of the UEFA EURO 2008.  ESPN earned much praise for its coverage of the 2008 event, which proved to be very popular among American audiences.  More than 41 million viewers in the United States tuned into live UEFA EURO 2008 matches on ESPN networks.

“ESPN is committed to serving soccer fans with live coverage of the sport’s top events from around the world.  We are especially pleased to extend our relationship with UEFA and continue to help build the UEFA European Football Championship brand in the U.S.,” said Scott Guglielmino, ESPN senior vice president, programming and X Games.  "The successful 2008 tournament proved this is a must-see event, and our ability to deliver EURO live across our services will ensure that fans can access this unique event wherever and whenever they choose.”

UEFA EURO 2012, Friday, June 8 – Sunday, July 1, in Poland and Ukraine, will include a total of 31 matches featuring the top-16 European national teams. Four years later, the field will expand to 24 teams and 51 matches for UEFA EURO 2016 in France.

Guy-Laurent Epstein, Marketing Director of UEFA Events SA, said:  "Following a very successful experience with UEFA EURO 2008, we are extremely pleased to extend our partnership for UEFA EURO with ESPN for the next two tournaments in the United States America.  With interest in football growing significantly in America, ESPN will no doubt provide great visibility for UEFA's national team competitions through their promotional and programming capacity. These long-term partnerships demonstrate the strength of the EURO as a global property, and working with ESPN, we are committed to further enhancing it in the future.”

UEFA EURO 2012 continues ESPN’s unprecedented stretch of presenting marquee global soccer events each summer, beginning in 2006 through 2014 – three FIFA World Cup tournaments (2006, 2010, 2014), two FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments (2007, 2011), two FIFA Confederations Cups (2009, 2013) and two UEFA European Football Championships (2008, 2012).

In addition, ESPN has acquired the rights for a variety of UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying matches which began in September 2010, and will continue through November 2011.  Some of the matches include home fixtures by Spain, Germany, France, and Netherlands, as well as matches featuring Italy, Portugal, England, Ireland and Scotland.

Highlights:

TELEVISION AND RADIO RIGHTS

  • ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to present live coverage of all matches (31 in 2012; more than 51 in 2016) in high definition.  Additional coverage will include pre-match, halftime and post-match programming, news and highlights shows on match days, unlimited re-air rights across all networks and media platforms, magazine programs, and more.
  • ESPN Deportes – exclusive Spanish-language network for UEFA EURO 2012 and 2016 matches in the U.S. and extensive studio programming including SportsCenterFuera de Juego and more.
  • Exclusive radio rights via ESPN RadioESPN Deportes Radio or via a sub-license in the region.

DIGITAL MEDIA RIGHTS

  • ESPN3.com – ESPN’s broadband network in 65 million homes will feature all 31 matches live in 2012 and 51 matches in 2016.  Additionally, all matches will be available for replay on ESPN3.com shortly after the completion.
  • ESPN Mobile TV – ESPN’s wireless network will offer live coverage of all matches of the European championship.
  • ESPN.com, ESPNSoccernet.com and ESPNDeportes.com – Dedicated UEFA EURO 2012 and 2016 sections featuring highlights and video news clips, reports, columns, match previews, player profiles and real-time data.

ADDITIONAL UEFA EVENTS

  • ESPN3.com and ESPN Deportes will feature the UEFA European Under-21 Championships in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017 on ESPN.
  • UEFA European Women's Championship 2013 on ESPN3.com and ESPN Deportes.

SOCCER ON ESPN

ESPN is the home of premier soccer championship events.  It is the English-language home of the Men’s and Women’s FIFA World Cup events in the U.S. through 2014 – having acquired in 2005 the rights for exclusive English-language U.S. telecasts of the FIFA World Cup and the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and the FIFA Confederations Cup.  ESPN also airs the Barclays Premier League in high definition on ESPN2, ESPN3.com, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Mobile TV.  ESPN’s commitment represents one of the most comprehensive collections of soccer programming in the United States, featuring top-level national team competitions, Major League Soccer, the nation’s premier soccer league, the U.S. National Teams, and the NCAA Men’s and Women’s soccer championships.

ABOUT UEFA EUROPEAN FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP™

The UEFA European Football Championship is the main soccer competition of the men’s national teams governed by the UEFA.  It is held in even-numbered years every four years, since its inception in 1960.  It was called European Nations Cup until 1968 when the named changed to European Football Championship™.  Considered the second most important competition among national teams after the FIFA World Cup, championships are often referred to by the specific year they are held, such as UEFA EURO 2012™.

Teams representing 16 nations compete in the championship, following a two-year qualifications process through matches, many of which can be seen on ESPN networks.  Currently, 51 UEFA member nations are competing for the 14 spots for UEFA EURO 2012 – host nations Poland and Ukraine have the two automatic berths.  The final draw for UEFA EURO 2012 will be held in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Dec. 2, 2011.  Spain won the last championship – UEFA EURO 2008 – hosted by Austria and Switzerland.

 
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