Fox Sports Scores EURO, World Cup Qualifiers


NEW YORK: FOX Sports has reached a deal for the broadcast rights to qualifying matches for the UEFA EURO 2016, as well as the European qualifiers for 2018 FIFA World Cup, and is sublicensing half of the game inventory to ESPN.

The agreement covers exclusive rights in the U.S. and the non-exclusive rights in the Caribbean. The inventory is being split 50/50 with ESPN, which aired the EURO in 2012 and has the rights for the 2016 tournament. In 2011, Fox Sports beat out ESPN (which has the rights to the 2014 event) and NBCUniversal to score the rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments.

FOX Sports and ESPN each have rights to over 270 matches, encompassing 129 EURO qualifying games, 129 World Cup qualifiers and 15 international friendlies. EURO 2016 qualifiers kick off in September 2014, while World Cup qualifiers begin in September 2016.

David Nathanson, executive VP of FOX Soccer, noted, "The journey for a country to be represented in two of the most prestigious soccer tournaments in the world is some of the most exciting soccer played each year. There are no two media properties better fit to showcase these matches than ESPN and FOX Sports whom already have the broadcast rights to the UEFA EURO 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup, respectively. The UEFA European Qualifiers adds a new dimension of depth to our robust portfolio of soccer broadcast rights.”

“UEFA has gone to great lengths to organize these critical and competitive matches,” said Scott Guglielmino, ESPN’s senior VP for programming. “We are delighted to work with UEFA and FOX to bring fans in the United States all the qualifying matches in Europe for UEFA EURO 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.”