ESPN To Announce Purchase Of European Soccer Rights Package
ESPN today will formally announce its purchase of a U.S. package of European soccer rights that was agreed to nearly 10 months ago. ESPN agreed to pay around $110M for a package that includes Euro '20 and its qualifiers, the European '22 World Cup qualifiers, a planned UEFA Nations League tournament of friendlies in '18 and '20 and the UEFA Nations League Final Four in '19 and '21. ESPN outbid beIN Sports, Fox Sports and NBC Sports for the package. Univision picked up the Spanish-language rights in the U.S. for around $70M. It is not known what caused the 10-month holdup. CAA Eleven represented UEFA in the bidding process.
Deal terms will have all 51 Euro '20 games produced on ESPN and ESPN2, with ESPN3 carrying alternate streams to complement the linear TV coverage. ESPN also picked up exclusive English-language rights for ESPN Audio. ESPN televised the qualifying matches and tournament for Euro '16, and it will televise the European qualifying matches for the '18 World Cup through a sublicensing agreement signed with Fox Sports in '13.