Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Fox Sports & ESPN to split rights to 2016 & 2018 European World Cup Qualifiers

Fox Soccer Channel may be closing down in a few months, or at least converting over to FXX, but that isn't stopping Fox Sports from going after more soccer coverage. The home of the CONCACAF Tournaments and the soon to be home of the World Cup is expanding their soccer stakes. Fox has been granted exclusive rights to broadcast European World Cup Qualifying matches during the years 2016 and 2018. Tey have turned around and sublicensed 50% of the games to ESPN. Below is the press release. 


Inventory Split 50/50 with ESPN in Sublicense Arrangement

New York -- FOX Sports Media Group and UEFA have entered into a multi-media rights 
agreement for all UEFA EURO 2016TM and 2018 FIFA World CupTM European qualifying 
matches, it was announced today by David Nathanson, Executive Vice President, FOX Soccer. 
Simultaneously, FSMG has agreed to sublicense half the game inventory to ESPN for carriage 
on its television and digital assets. The rights are exclusive in the United States, non-exclusive 
in the Caribbean.

“The journey for a country to be represented in two of the most prestigious soccer tournaments 
in the world is some of the most exciting soccer played each year,” Nathanson said. “There 
are no two media properties better fit to showcase these matches than ESPN and FOX Sports 
whom already have the broadcast rights to the UEFA EURO 2016TM and the 2018 FIFA World 
CupTM respectively. The UEFA European Qualifiers adds a new dimension of depth to our 
robust portfolio of soccer broadcast rights.”

Qualifying matches for the UEFA EURO 2016TM begin in September 2014, while 2018 FIFA 
World CupTM qualifiers begin in September 2016. The rights retained by FSMG and those 
granted to ESPN are identical. FOX Sports and ESPN each have rights to over 270 matches 
total for both cycles. Each package includes:

- 129 UEFA EURO 2016TM Qualifiers (Sept. 2014 – Nov. 2015) 
- 129 2018 FIFA World CupTM Qualifiers (Sept. 2016 – Nov. 2017) 
- 15 international friendly matches over the term (2014-2018)

ESPN, the UEFA EURO 2016TM rights holder, plans to offer its more than 270 qualifying 
matches across ESPN networks – ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN and ESPN3. ESPN 
has also attained highlights rights for studio programs including SportsCenter, ESPN’s new daily 
soccer program ESPN FC on TV and the company’s global soccer digital hub ESPN FC. During 
the UEFA EURO 2016TM qualification cycle, ESPN has first selection from each week’s pool of 
games leading into its tournament coverage.

“UEFA has gone to great lengths to organize these critical and competitive matches,” said Scott 
Guglielmino, ESPN senior vice president for programming. “We are delighted to work with 
UEFA and FOX to bring fans in the United States all the qualifying matches in Europe for UEFA 
EURO 2016TM and the 2018 FIFA World CupTM.” 

FSMG is home to the 2018 FIFA World CupTM, the first of two FIFA World Cup tournaments 
FOX Sports gained rights to in 2011. Qualifying matches for the UEFA EURO 2016TM and 2018 
FIFA World CupTM are slated for carriage across several FOX Sports platforms, including FOX 
Sports 1, America’s new sports network premiering Aug. 17; FOX Sports GO, a groundbreaking 
mobile sports experience launching this summer; FOX Soccer Plus; and FOX Soccer 2Go. 
During the World Cup qualification cycle, FOX Sports has first selection from each week’s game 
pool leading up to its coverage of the 2018 FIFA World CupTM

About FOX Sports Media Group
FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) is the umbrella entity representing News Corporation’s wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets. Built with brands capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, FSMG includes ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing partnerships. FSMG includes FOX Sports, the sports television arm of the FOX Broadcasting Company; FOX Sports 1; Fox’s 22 regional sports networks, their affiliated regional web sites and FSN national programming; FOX Soccer, FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Soccer 2Go; FUEL TV; FOX Deportes and FOX College Sports. In addition, FSMG also encompasses FOX Sports Digital, which includes FOXSports.com on MSN, FOX Sports GO, Whatifsports.com, FOXSportsNext.com and 
Yardbarker.com. Also included in the Group are FOX’s interests in joint -venture businesses Big Ten Network, BTN 2Go and STATS, LLC, as well as licensing agreements that establish the FOX Sports Radio Network and FOX Sports Skybox restaurants.

ESPN and Soccer in the United States:
ESPN is committed to offering comprehensive coverage of the world’s premier soccer events in the United 
States. ESPN is the English-language television home – and other languages, except Spanish – in the U.S. for the FIFA World Cup, the FIFA Confederations Cup and other FIFA events through 2014. The media company is also the English- and Spanish-language home of the UEFA European Football Championship through 2016™, and a collection of FIFA World Cup qualifying matches from UEFA nations – Spain, Germany, France and more. ESPN’s multimedia platforms also provide extensive coverage of a myriad of top-tier international leagues and Major League Soccer in the U.S., as well as telecasts of the United States National Team and Mexican National Team matches, international friendlies, and more.

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