European soccer’s governing body, UEFA, has reached an exclusive agreement with Italian state owned public service broadcaster RAI Radiotelevisione Italiana for the nation’s broadcast rights to the 2012 UEFA European Championships in Poland/Ukraine.
Under terms of the new agreement RAI will offer free-to-air coverage of all 31 matches of the European soccer tournament across its two channels RAI Uno and RAI Due, supplementing this coverage with dedicated magazine and highlights programmes and comprehensive internet and mobile services on a live and on-demand basis.
As a further part of the deal, RAI has acquired the media rights for the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.
Media reports suggest that the deal followed the trend set in Spain and Germany, for example, Mediaset will pay around US$98m for the Euro 2016 rights package, short of the $105m UEFA requirement. Rai is thought to be paying slightly below its previous deal with UEFA, with the deal believed to be worth between $145m and $160m.
Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA Events SA marketing director, said: “We are delighted to continue our relationship with RAI, our long-standing broadcast partner in Italy for the UEFA European Football Championship. RAI has an exceptional track record of broadcasting major international sporting events and is the perfect home for UEFA Euro 2012. Football fans in Italy will be offered an excellent broadcast platform and a fantastic viewing experience.”
Meanwhile, The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has been awarded radio rights to the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship and UEFA EURO 2012 after reaching an agreement with UEFA.
The deal covers UEFA EURO 2012 host countries Poland and Ukraine as well as this summer’s U21 Championship host nation Denmark, with other territories included in the agreement being the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Israel, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and, for the U21 tournament only, the United Kingdom.
UEFA said: “Following a very successful experience with the EBU during UEFA EURO 2008, we are extremely pleased to be in a position to extend our partnership for UEFA EURO 2012 and the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship. We are looking forward to working together with the EBU and its experienced radio broadcasters to offer football fans across Europe extensive radio coverage of both competitions.” [Source: ISport Connect]