Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
7

Media News

ITV pinches Europa League from Channel 5

By
Playing football

© Rex Features / olfgang Weinhaupl / WestEnd61

ITV has agreed a deal to become the lead UK broadcaster of UEFA Europa League in a three-year agreement that ends Channel 5's coverage of the tournament.

The commercial broadcaster has picked up the TV rights to the first and second picks of Europa League matches from the 2012-13 to 2014-15 seasons inclusive. ESPN has picked up the remaining rights.

ITV will show most of its matches on digital channel ITV4 and website ITV.com, but any games featuring UK teams from the quarter-finals onwards will be shown on ITV1. The broadcaster will also air a highlights programme each week of the competition.

US broadcaster ESPN has grabbed the remaining rights and will show at least one game per kick-off slot each matchweek on its UK channel, as well as a highlights package.

UEFA said of the agreement: "UEFA is happy to renew its partnership with ITV and ESPN in the United Kingdom. These deals will further develop and promote the competition in the region by providing football fans throughout the UK with an extensive choice of coverage not only on television but also via online and mobile services."

ITV Sport controller Niall Sloane added: "There is great demand from UK viewers to watch domestic teams performing on the European stage and I'm delighted that ITV is extending its long and successful relationship with UEFA to broadcast the top pick games from throughout the competition."

The loss of Europa League football will be a blow for Channel 5 as the coverage was one of the channel's biggest ratings draws, often attracting more than 2m viewers for the bigger games.

You May Like

Comments

Loading...