19 Oct FOX on verge of acquiring European Championship rights in U.S.
FOX is on the verge of acquiring the European Championship rights in the United States for the 2024 and 2028 competitions, according to Sports Business Journal. Currently, ESPN broadcasts the quadrennial event. In fact, ESPN broadcasted each Euros since 2008. Therefore, for ESPN, the rights package is something of a commodity.
Moreover, the acquisition of the European Championship rights would allow FOX to also air the qualifiers and the UEFA Nations League. The Nations League is actually a different competition altogether, but they do feature in the same media package.
As stated previously, ESPN currently holds the rights to all the competitions FOX will receive. The Euros are a mainstay on the main ESPN channel. ESPN often sent a reporters or an entire studio crew to European nations to cover the event.
Designated commentary crews, pregame and postgame discussions for each game and other forms of commentary showed the tournament’s importance to the channel.
Now, coverage seems to be heading to FOX.
European Championship rights joins other coverage on FOX
As of now, much of the soccer content on FOX is domestic to the United States. A number of MLS games, USMNT and USWNT games and CONCACAF competitions air on FOX.
However, the prized possession for FOX is the World Cup. In 2011, FOX bought the rights to the world’s biggest tournament for $425 million, a steep increase from what ESPN dished out for the prior tournaments.
Unfortunately, as of press time, there is no information available regarding the price FOX will be paying for the European Championship rights. But, we know ESPN paid roughly $115 million for just Euro 2020. Therefore, it is no surprise that UEFA sought in excess of $300 million to broadcast the 2024 and 2028 tournaments.
So, let’s break down what FOX’s soccer repertoire includes. With the anticipated inclusion of the European Championship rights, it seems FOX holds the power to most of the major tournaments over the next eight years.
FOX will broadcast the 2022 and 2026 World Cups, the 2023 Women’s World Cup, the 2025 Gold Cup, and the 2024 Copa America. Evidently, much of the international landscape runs through FOX in the United States.
There were a number of other entities in the running to acquire the rights to the Euros. For one, ESPN surely desired to hold on to the rights. CBS and Paramount+ have a growing footprint in the soccer broadcasting world. Finally, NBC and Peacock surely had their hat in the ring at some point.
Regardless, the deal is a huge win for FOX. Now, at least in the United States, the channel is the must-have location to watch international soccer competitions.
Other rights and streaming
Like ESPN, CBS and NBC, FOX has a direct-to-consumer streaming service via Tubi. ESPN+, Paramount+ and Peacock now hold rights themselves.
With FOX aiming to grow Tubi into a more robust streaming service that offers sports, this explains FOX’s foray into the international game. With the Premier League and MLS being the only major leagues with rights up for grabs, FOX is among the broadcasters bidding for those American media rights too.
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