In the wake of the centralisation of commercial rights for the European qualifiers of UEFA EURO 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup, UEFA has seen a strong buy-in to its revolutionary 'Week of Football' marketing concept.
Long-standing UEFA broadcast partners, as well as recently launched channels, have recognised the value of the 'Week of Football', offering broadcasters significantly more live match opportunities compared with previous qualification cycles. In the past, matches were often scheduled simultaneously, but will now be distributed over the matchweek, allowing viewers to follow the qualifying paths of more teams.
In recent months, the following agreements were concluded:
• The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) acquired the rights to broadcast the relevant national team matches for 30 of its members' territories*
• United Kingdom: ITV secured the rights to show all of England's UEFA EURO 2016 and 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying games in the United Kingdom
• United Kingdom/Ireland: Pay broadcaster BSkyB has obtained a significant package of rights to European qualifiers across the UK and the Republic of Ireland, featuring exclusive live coverage of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. BSkyB will also show the Republic of Ireland's qualifying campaign, co-exclusively with public broadcaster RTE
• Turkey: SARAN – exclusive media rights to all matches
• Ukraine: TV-Broadcasting Company Ukraine – exclusive media rights to all matches
• United States: FOX Sports – exclusive media rights to all matches
• Canada: Rogers Sportsnet – exclusive media rights to all matches
• Brazil: Globosat – exclusive media rights to all matches
• Latin America (excluding Brazil): SKY Mexico and DIRECTV – exclusive media rights to all matches
In addition, sponsors have also been swift to appreciate the benefits of the centralised European qualifiers. Two global brands, long-term UEFA partner Carlsberg and new addition to the sponsor family SOCAR, have associated themselves with both the European qualifiers and the UEFA EURO 2016 final tournament as part of a new UEFA National Team football package. The early completion of these agreements means that only three more packages covering both competitions are available at global level.
Gianni Infantino, UEFA General Secretary, said: "A lot of work has gone into the centralisation of the European qualifiers, and we were convinced that it would make a compelling proposition for commercial partners. The impressive lineup of high quality broadcasters demonstrates the value of the 'Week of Football' to broadcasters, and the recent agreements with Carlsberg and SOCAR show that global brands welcome the opportunity to consistently associate themselves with European national team football until 2017. All-in-all, we are delighted with the progress so far, and these agreements prove the ongoing strength of national team football."
* EBU territories are: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland
CAA Eleven is the exclusive marketing agency of UEFA for the exploitation of media and commercial rights relating to national team football within Europe, including UEFA EURO 2016, the European qualifiers to UEFA EURO 2016 and the FIFA World Cup 2018, the UEFA European Under-21 Championship and other national team competitions. The creation of a dedicated sales agent for the commercial rights mirrors the approach used successfully for UEFA's club competitions, the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.
Further information on the various UEFA competitions and specific information on the sales of commercial rights, including ongoing tenders, can be found here.
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