February 8 – UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin confirmed that the governing body’s over-the-top streaming service should be complete in the next six months in time for the the 2019/2020 season.
The Champions League and other key competitions will not be a part of the OTT platform, but will likely be an important distribution avenue from 2021 onwards when UEFA will launch a third European club competition.
Last September UEFA’s marketing director Guy-Laurent Epstein had revealed that the platform would give more airtime and exposure to the women’s game, futsal and age-group competitions.
“We do not want to compete with TV channels, but to take advantage of the wide range of content we have, such as summaries, delayed games, backstage pictures, and women’s and grassroots competitions, whose broadcasters generally do not have the same visibility as the men’s tournaments,” said Epstein.
The balance of OTT against traditional TV rights revenue propositions is one that is still being worked out.
IMG launched its Strive OTT service in Scandinavia in the summer, and is offering an OTT subscription to Serie A in certain markets globally. Formula One has also launched its own streaming platform.
In what is an increasingly disrupted broadcast market, but also one with greater volumes of content being made available by rights holders, broadcast deals are showing signs splitting across multiple delivery platforms.
For example, in the US, Champions League and Europa League rights holder Turner Sports in the first year of its rights deal will carry just 46 Champions League matches on its pay-TV channel TNT, with all remaining fixtures on its new B/R Live over-the-top (OTT) platform.
B/R Live allows viewers to buy a full season ($79.99), a month-long subscription ($9.99), or on a pay-per-match basis ($2.99).
Turner reportedly paid $60 million for the UEFA rights taking through to the end of the 2020/21 cycle.
Contact the writers of this story, Paul Nicholson and Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1561017195labto1561017195ofdlr1561017195owedi1561017195sni@o1561017195fni1561017195