BSkyB has responded to the aggressive marketing of BT Sport’s live English Premier League football coverage by securing the rights to Home Nations and Republic of Ireland qualification matches for UEFA EURO 2016 and 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The new agreement with UEFA provides Sky Sports with coverage of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, together with and all other UEFA member associations, between 2014 and 2017.
According to the broadcaster, the schedule of up to 500 international matches underlines Sky Sports as the home of televised football and complements the unrivalled portfolio of rights shown across six channels.
The deal comprises:
Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis said that both the UEFA European Championship and FIFA World Cup were football’s most important international tournaments and that the deal offered Sky Sports viewers the complete qualification story. “We’ve been broadcasting international football since the beginning of Sky Sports and this deal means our viewers can enjoy watching some of the best players and nations over the next four years,” he added.
Sky Sports has also won the rights to broadcast all 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship matches exclusively live. The tournament, which features Europe’s brightest young stars from England and seven other nations, kicks off on June 5th. Taking place in Israel, coverage will include all group matches, both semi-finals the Final on June 18th.
The wider football schedule on Sky Sports includes 116 fixtures from the Barclays Premier League – three quarters of all live matches and more than ever before – as well as over 120 UEFA Champions League fixtures, 75 npower Football League fixtures, the Capital One Cup, over 100 fixtures from La Liga, Clydesdale Bank Premier League, William Hill Scottish Cup and much more.