UEFA To Sell Int'l TV Rights For 53 Member Countries Beginning In '14
UEFA President Michel Platini yesterday confirmed that "all 53 member associations had agreed to a collective selling model" for TV rights to international qualifiers beginning in '14, according to Owen Gibson of the GUARDIAN. England's Football Association "had been concerned that it would be left disadvantaged by the plan but has succeeded in securing minimum guarantees that will bring in about" $41M (all figures U.S.) a year. UEFA as part of the negotiations "dropped an earlier idea to try and centralise the sponsorship and marketing rights." UEFA "will market the collective rights to European Championships and World Cup qualifiers in four-year cycles, beginning in 2014." That leaves the FA "with a dilemma over its FA Cup rights." Under four-year deals "signed at the height of the market, the rights to FA Cup and England internationals were sold" for $695M domestically and $245M overseas. But Setanta, which contributed $245M, then "collapsed into administration and the FA filled the hole by signing a new four-year deal with ESPN." With the two contracts -- one with ITV and one with ESPN -- now "out of sync, it is understood that the FA will attempt to sell a two-year deal to either ITV or the BBC in order to harmonise the cycles again" (GUARDIAN, 3/23). In Ireland, Daniel McDonnell notes UEFA still has to "fully thrash out terms with the various broadcasters and sports agencies around the continent" (Irish INDEPENDENT, 3/23).