UEFA To Centralize Media Rights For European Qualifers And Championships
European soccer bosses have "come up with a new business plan to sell their TV rights to international games, as they fight to stop fans reaching for the off button," according to Bill Wilson of the BBC. UEFA in '14 will "centralise the media rights for the European qualifiers of the World Cup and the European Championships." Broadcasters will now approach UEFA to "buy packages of international games, rather than having to run around contacting individual national football federations." UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino said, "We will provide one point of sale for all matches. There will be lots of benefits -- including more revenues for European football associations." UEFA has previously said that it "believes it can increase the net revenue from media rights sales" by 67%. So far, 52 out of the 53 European national associations have "signed up to the plans, with only England's Football Association still to iron out final details." Various broadcasting packages will be "on offer, with a combination of live matches, delayed broadcast matches and highlights available." Both broadcasters and TV rights agencies "will be invited to bid for packages of games." Other commercial rights that UEFA "intends centralising include perimeter board advertising -- whereby national football associations can take all, none, or some of UEFA's sponsors as pitchside advertising during their games." Discussions are also under way with sports manufacturers to "come up with one uniform UEFA ball for use during international qualification matches, as is the case with the Champions League ball" (BBC.co.uk, 3/28).