UEFA eyes online coverage

Following similar comments made by Ed Woodward, the Vice-Chairman of Manchester United Football Club in respect of English Premier League rights, and those made by F1 commercial MD Sean Bratches, Guy-Laurent Epstein, Marketing Director at European Football governing body UEFA, has admitted that online concerns such as Amazon and Facebook may become active in bidding for rights for UEFA competitions, both at club and country level.

Speaking at the Sportel Sports Marketing and Media convention in Monaco, Epstein accepted that UEFA’s handling of rights had evolved over the years, particularly in respect of its premier club-based tournament, the Champions League, which, in a number of major territories, had moved from FTA to a mixed FTA/pay-TV structure or solely pay-TV.

As such, he felt that of major online players, it was more likely to be an Amazon, with its freemium pay structure, than a Facebook, with an ad-supported free model, that was likely to be the more successful, but in general terms, he would “absolutely not rule out” their involvement in future bidding rounds.

UEFA is introducing a new national team competition, the UEFA Nations League – which starts in September 2018.

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