Sky Sports boosts international football coverage with landmark deal
Sky Sports has won the rights to cover the UEFA EURO 2016 and 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification matches of the British Home Nations and Republic of Ireland. The new deals gives the broadcaster coverage of up to 500 international fixtures, with a mixture of highlights and live broadcasts of entire matches.
This break down into: highlights of all England qualifying games for both the EURO and World Cup plus live away matches against other Home Nations; and live coverage of all home and away fixtures for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in qualifiers of both competitions. Beginning with the qualification stages of EURO 2016 in September 2014 this gives Sky Sports up to 500 international competitive games (as opposed to friendlies) in a three-year period.
Commenting on the contract, Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports, says: “Both the UEFA European Championship and FIFA World Cup are football’s most important international tournaments and this deal offers 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.”
Sky Sports has also acquired live broadcast rights to every 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship matches. The tournament, featuring young, upcoming players, begins on 5 June in Israel, with the Final scheduled for 18 June.