Fox Sports has reached an agreement with Uefa to retain its exclusive US and Caribbean media rights to the Uefa Champions League and Uefa Europa League for a further three years.
The new agreement will run from 2015-2016, when the current deal expires, up until the conclusion of the 2017-2018 season. It covers both the English and Spanish-language rights.
It is believed Fox, NBC Sports Group, Univision and BeIN Sport all submitted bids for the highly-prized rights, although reports suggest that after a second round of bidding none of the broadcasters met Uefa's desired price of US$100 million per year. Indeed, US reports indicated that Fox's successful bid fell significantly short of the US$83 million per year NBC is paying for Premier League rights until 2015.
Guy-Laurent Epstein, the marketing director of Uefa Events SA, commented: “Fox Sports prevailed to win the rights in a competitive tender process, in part thanks to its impressive commitment to market and promote the competitions. Fox Sports has demonstrated its ability to provide a home that is worthy of the club competitions and Uefa is delighted to continue this partnership until 2018.”
Fox intends to screen all 146 Champions League matches on either a live or delayed basis across Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, Fox Deportes, Fox Soccer Plus and its Fox Sports Regional Networks. It will supplement this coverage by broadcasting all 146 Champions League matches live online and on mobile via Fox Sports GO and FoxSoccer2Go.
It will broadcast the tournament’s final live on Fox - its flagship US channel.
Additionally, the network will air two weekly Europa League fixtures on Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2 and Fox Soccer Plus. As with the Champions League, all Europa League matches will be available to watch live via the Fox Sports Go mobile app.
“The combination of Uefa Champions and Europa leagues provides viewers with the complete club competition experience at the highest level,” said David Nathanson, the general manager and chief operating officer of Fox Sports 1 and 2. “The fact that all the leading European teams and players continue to be seen on one destination speaks to Fox Sports’ commitment to showcase the world’s best. No other sports television franchise has an elite international soccer schedule that even comes close.”
The agreement shores up Fox’s soccer portfolio after the broadcaster and rival ESPN lost the US rights to the Premier League to NBC earlier this year.