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Euro 2020 postponed for a year; ITV reacts

March 17, 2020

UEFA has postponed Euro 2020 until the summer of 2021. The move intends to allow European leagues more time to complete their seasons amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The tournament will be played between June 11th and July 11th 2021.

The decision comes after UEFA held conference calls with its 55 member associations, the board of the European Club Association and the board of the European Leagues.

The FA will meet on March 19th to discuss the completion of its football league seasons.

UK commercial broadcaster ITV said the direct impact would be to reduce its schedule costs in 2020 by £40 million to £50 million, including the cost of replacement programming.  There will be no loss of sponsorship revenue as the tournament is pre-sponsored. “We look forward to broadcasting the Euros and providing a significant marketing opportunity for advertisers in 2021, a year which does not have any other large sports tournament,” it added.

ITV continues to closely monitor the implications of the Coronavirus and will update the market further as appropriate. Its priority remains to protect its people. Currently ITV’s guidance for March and April advertising revenue has not changed.

According to data and analytical company GlobalData’s Sportcal Intelligence Centre, there were $148 million of sponsorship commitments for the tournament, including the likes of Heineken and Coca-Cola – which spent a respective $45 million and $35 million. It is likely that the UEFA will simply roll these agreements over to next summer when the tournament is likely to be played.

“However, for broadcasters, the impact is likely to be much more profound,” suggests Conrad Wiacek, Head of Analysis and Consulting at Sportcal. “With the likes of the BBC and ITV having paid over $200 million for broadcast rights in the UK and ZDF and ARD having committed over $160 million in Germany, the situation is unique. Many broadcasters will have committed funds for sports rights and the creation of schedules around the tournament, so the impact of this decision will be profoundly felt.”

“For commercial broadcasters who use major international sporting events as a means of driving advertising revenue, they will be hoping that those advertising budgets are simply rolled over into next year as opposed to brands looking to claw back that marketing spend.”

“With many brands facing an uncertain time over the next 12 months due to the wider economic impact of COVID-19, it remains to be seen whether that planned advertising spend will need to be deployed elsewhere in the meantime, leading to a severe economic impact for many broadcasters.”



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