January 26 – Media rights to broadcast England’s national team matches from 2018 until 2022 have been split between subscription and free-to-air channels. No figure has been released for the deal which was done under the new rights selling regime that consolidates all national federation rights into a single UEFA-backed sales agency.
ITV has retained exclusive live rights to European qualifiers up until Euro 2020 plus the 2022 World Cup. In addition, ITV has acquired the rights to broadcast highlights for all of England’s national team matches throughout the 2018-22 cycle.
Sky has been awarded an extensive live rights package that includes all England games in the newly-created UEFA Nations League as well all national team matches involving Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales in both the European qualifiers and the Nations League.
The inaugural season of the Nations League is due to begin in September next year, featuring UEFA countries split into four divisions. The competition has been brought in to replace meaningless friendlies and is being run before, after and in conjunction with the qualifying competition for Euro 2020.
The rationale for UEFA, as well as making more money, is to make dates traditionally set aside for friendlies more meaningful. The tournament also provides an alternative route for qualifying for the World Cup and Euros.
In each league, the four group winners will be promoted and the four bottom-placed teams relegated for the subsequent competition.
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