This just in from the fine people at Fox Sports, the empire known as the Fox Sports Media Group has renewed its rights agreement with UEFA for the Champions League. This is a European soccer competition which involves the major soccer leagues throughout the continent. It makes for some really fun action pitting teams from the English Premier League against La Liga or Bundesliga. It all culminates in the Final during the Spring.
The agreement allows for more matches on Fox Sports Net. The semifinals will be seen on FX with the finals on Fox Sports. It also gives Fox streaming and mobile rights. Starting in 2012-13, you’ll be able to watch matches on your mobile phone so this is much more than the current deal which expires right after the 2011-12 season. We have your press release.
Europe’s Storied Club Soccer Competition Continues on Multiple PlatformsFinals on FOX Sports, Semifinal Matches Now Include FX andLive Telecasts on FSN Nearly DoubleLos Angeles (December 14, 2010) – FOX Sports Media Group today announced that it has renewed its exclusive media rights in the United States and Caribbean to the UEFA Champions League, the world’s most prestigious annual club soccer competition, for three additional seasons from 2012/13 through 2014/15.The agreement with UEFA – the governing body of soccer in Europe – ensures comprehensive coverage of the tournament on multiple FSMG properties including FOX Sports, FOX Soccer Channel, FOX Soccer Plus, FOX Deportes, FOX Sports Net (FSN) and FX, as well as online video streaming service FOXsoccer.tv throughout the first half of this decade. FOX is currently in the second of a three-season partnership with UEFA through 2011/12, delivering for the first time ever all 146 UEFA Champions League matches from the Play-off Round onward to U.S. viewers.“The foundation of FOX Sports’ success has always been to showcase the best sports events possible,” said David Hill, FOX Sports Media Group Chairman and CEO. “Our enhanced commitment to the UEFA Champions League for three additional seasons means that the FOX Sports Media Group remain America’s home for the absolute best in international club soccer.”“In 2009, FOX made an unprecedented commitment to bring the UEFA Champions League to the widest possible U.S. audience, and with this renewal agreement we have raised the amount of coverage to even greater heights,” said David Nathanson, General Manager of Fox Soccer. “We are elated to continue our partnership with UEFA and serve as the home of their flagship property through at least 2015.”Under the renewal, FOX Sports has committed to broadcasting the UEFA Champions League Final live to over 115 million households nationwide. Last season, FOX staged the first-ever network television broadcast of a European club soccer match when it showcased the UEFA Champions League Final, live and in high-definition, from Madrid.In addition, two of the four semifinal matches will air on FX, FOX’s flagship general entertainment cable network available in over 98 million homes nationwide.FSN reaches nearly 85 million homes nationwide through its owned and affiliated regional sports networks and is nearly doubling its UEFA Champions League coverage. FSN will televise 28 live contests on Tuesday and Wednesday matchdays. Currently, FSN only covers Tuesday broadcast windows.As the primary broadcast outlet for the UEFA Champions League in the U.S., FOX Soccer Channel continues to deliver 110 live and delayed UEFA Champions League matches per season to its nearly 40 million subscribers, who also enjoy extensive coverage from England’s Barclays Premier League and Italy’s Serie A among other elite competitions.FOX Soccer Plus carries 94 live and delayed match telecasts annually, and like FOX Soccer Channel, each UEFA Champions League matchday features 8-10 hour blocks of uninterrupted coverage.Meanwhile, FOX Deportes continues to televise 110 live and delayed match telecasts per season. An additional 250 hours of UEFA Champions League encore coverage per season is planned by the nation’s leader in Spanish-language sports media.
The 2012/13-2014/15 media rights extend to the Internet via premium broadband portal FOXsoccer.tv, as well mobile devices through Fox Soccer’s iPhone app. FOXsoccer.com and FOXdeportes.com continue to offer exclusive video highlights of all matches plus live, interactive Match Trax featuring in-game stats, commentary and more. As a result, fans across the U.S. will have an extensive array of coverage choices for this unparalleled club soccer competition.“Ever since the first deal for the current 2009-2012 rights cycle, FOX Sports have impressed us with their commitment to prioritise the UEFA Champions League in their scheduling,” said Guy Laurent Epstein, Head of Media Rights for UEFA. “Showing the Final on FOX’s over-the-air affiliates marks a huge turning point in the American psyche towards football, continuing in this vein for the 2012-15 rights cycle reflects FOX’s ongoing dedication to the best of European football.”
So ESPN which had had the rights through the 2008-09 season, continues to be shut out of the Champions league through mid-decade.
And just because I can, I give you the catchy theme tune of the UEFA Champions League. Sing it with me now, “The Champ-ee-ons!!!!”
Ok, back to work.