ESPN Acquires Comprehensive Media Rights to UEFA Football Events


ESPN Acquires Comprehensive Media Rights to UEFA Football Events

  • UEFA European Football Championship 2020
  • UEFA National Team Football 2018 – 2022
  • European Qualifying Matches to UEFA EURO 2020 and 2022 FIFA World Cup

ESPN has reached an agreement with the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) for the rights to the UEFA European Football Championship 2020™ and all UEFA national team matches between 2018 and 2022.  ESPN will be the exclusive English-language home in the United States for UEFA EURO 2020, which will be played in stadiums across 13 European nations to mark the 60th anniversary of the competition.

Additionally, the deal grants ESPN the rights to a package of UEFA national team competitions, including qualifying matches to UEFA EURO 2020 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup (the European Qualifiers). The rights also include two editions of the newly created UEFA Nations League where European National teams will be divided into four divisions according to their ranking. The 12 teams in the top division will compete to participate in the UEFA Nations League Final Four to be crowned the UEFA Nations League Champions. The first edition of the UEFA Nations League will start in September 2018 and the first UEFA Nations League Final Four will be played in June 2019.

“The UEFA European Football Championship is one of the marquee events in international football and as fans in the U.S. continue to follow the sport overseas, the interest in this tournament will only get stronger,” said Scott Guglielmino, ESPN senior vice president, programming and acquisitions. “We are pleased to continue our relationship with UEFA and our commitment to presenting world-class global football events on our networks and across our media platforms.”

ESPN has served as the United States television and digital home for the UEFA European Football Championship since 2008. Nearly 40 million viewers in the U.S. watched live UEFA European Football Championship matches on ESPN networks in both 2008 and 2012, and 42.8 million viewers watched ESPN presentation of EURO 2016.

Guy-Laurent Epstein, marketing director of UEFA Events SA, added: “UEFA looks forward to continuing its longstanding partnership with ESPN on the European Championships and to deepen the relationship on European national team football with ESPN also acquiring the right to broadcast the European Qualifiers and the UEFA Nations League, UEFA’s new European competition starting in September 2018. As one of the world’s leading sports broadcasters, we are convinced that ESPN, both on traditional TV and across its other outlets, will offer an excellent viewing experience to all English speaking football fans in the United States.”

Highlights of UEFA EURO 2020 agreement:

  • ESPN and ESPN2: Will televise all 51 matches live (June-July 2020); Additional coverage will include pre-match, halftime and post-match programming, branded news and highlights shows on match days, unlimited re-air rights across all networks and media platforms, magazine programs, and more;
  • ESPN3: Will offer exclusive content from live events on television and alternate streams to complement big game on linear television. All matches, not including the alternate streams, will be available for replay;
  • ESPN Audio: English-language broadcast rights to 51 matches;
  • WatchESPN App: Will stream all matches and ancillary programming;
  • SportsCenter and ESPN FC: Extensive highlights rights on ESPN signature studio programs, including in-progress highlights;
  • com and Extensive coverage via dedicated UEFA EURO 2020 sections featuring video highlights, news clips, reports, columns, blogging, match previews, player profiles and real-time data. Additionally, the digital sites have the option to create digital-exclusive programming;
  • ESPN Social: Rights clips and shareable content across ESPN FC handles on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, et al.

UEFA National Team Package (2018-2022):

ESPN platforms (listed above) will provide year-round coverage of the European Qualifiers – UEFA EURO 2020 and 2022 FIFA World Cup – and the UEFA Nations League. In all, ESPN will have rights to more than 1000 competitive matches featuring European national teams under this agreement.

Highlights of the European competitions covered by this agreement:

  • European Qualifiers to UEFA EURO 2020 (2019-2020)
  • European Qualifiers to 2022 FIFA World Cup (2021-2022)
  • UEFA Nations League (2018 and 2020)
  • UEFA Nations League Final Four 2019 and 2021.


Mac Nwulu

I joined ESPN in 1998 and since then, it's been a great experience managing PR and communications for a range of ESPN initiatives and properties over the years. I am currently focused on soccer and The Undefeated, ESPN’s site focusing on sports, race and urban culture and how they intersect.
Back to top button