US contractors submit plans – The Hollywood Reporter

On Monday morning, executives from all the major sports media companies received an email inviting them to join their best pitch for what will likely be a copyright deal. biggest televised and televised sports of the year: U.S. rights to UEFA, including the UEFA Champions League.

Federation officials and their U.S. commercial partner, the related Sports Group, are concerned about the growing interest in European football and the demand for massive exclusive sports content across the globe. The streaming, to speed up the new deal, will go into effect in the 2024-2025 season.

According to a person familiar with the negotiations, Relevant and UEFA are seeking a six-year deal, and are expecting a big outcome, especially following NBCUniversal’s deal to keep the rights to the Premier League. last year. The six-year EPL deal, which includes live games on USA Network, Peacock, NBC and Telemundo, is worth approximately $430 million annually, or more than $2.5 billion over the life of the deal. .

But while a similar financial outcome is expected, UEFA’s bid for new media rights is not just about economics. The source involved in the talks said that the first round of bidding – to take place on August 15 – is also expected to include detailed marketing and distribution plans, as well as analysis. about matches that will take place on online and linear television, etc.

Every major media company is expected to consider the package, including big traditional players like Disney/ESPN, CBS/Paramount, Fox, NBCUniversal and Warner Bros. Discovery, along with streaming players like Apple and Amazon.

It is also possible that the rights could be broken (that will depend on the outcome of the bid currently open), although UEFA is not expected to approve any more than two packages.

UEFA rights may be of particular interest to companies looking to invest in their own streaming services. With US leagues like the NFL and NBA still largely focused on linear television, UEFA seems to be opening up to packages with a heavy streaming component. With a fan base younger than UEFA’s average, streaming could make sense as a major distribution mechanism, even if linearity could still boost eyeballs.

“This product appeals to a young, diverse audience, which is an important part of the strategy, especially as it relates to streaming,” the source said.

After the bids take place next month, UEFA and Related are expected to move quickly, with a deal expected to be closed at the start of the 2022-2023 season, which begins in September.

Sports rights continue to soar in value, even as linear television continues to slow world subscriber declines.

While the last 10 years, $100 billion worth of rights deals for the NFL remains the norm for rising rights value, all major sports are seeing television and broadcast revenue. Their online potential increases.

The main driver is streaming, with former partners like ESPN, CBS, and NBCUniversal all investing in their own streaming services (ESPN+, Paramount+, and Peacock), while also seeking rights to keep it. Their linear channels generate cash.

Meanwhile, new entrants are starting to make serious investments in sports. In particular, Amazon and Apple are securing substantial rights and offering competitive bids, with Amazon set to be the exclusive home for the NFL. Thursday Night Football later this year, and Apple recently signed a long-term deal with Major League Soccer. Amazon also secured UEFA rights in the UK earlier this year.

And once the deal with UEFA closes, all eyes will be on the NBA, which is also looking to extend contracts ahead of the 2024-2025 season and will likely consider a deal that would come second only. after the NFL when it’s over. up.

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