Television

Six bags rights for Uefa Euro 2016

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 MUMBAI: MultiScreenMedia's (MSM) sports channel Sony Six has added a feather in its cap in its bid to bag marquee properties that appeal to the youth.

It has won the rights for the Uefa Euro 2016 soccer tourney across the Indian sub-continent. The channel will telecast live all 51 matches of the tournament. Last year's edition aired on Neo. It has been learnt that Neo had paid around $10 million for it and the MSM deal was a substantial jump.

The Euro, it is worth noting is the third most valuable soccer property behind the soccer World Cup and the English Premier League (EPL). The top European nations take part in it to find out which is the best in soccer. This acquisition is significant for Six as this marks its first entry into international football. The channel has aired the 2014 Fifa WC Qualifiers. The Euro 2016 event is the first successful acquisition of a major professional football competition by the channel.

MSM CEO Man Jit Singh said, "Football has grown immensely in India over the past few years and has found great interest amongst the youth. With the successful acquisition of the Uefa Euro 2016 tournament broadcasting rights, we look forward to attracting viewership to Sony Six by leveraging on the growing popularity of European football in the country."

MSM COO NP Singh said, "We are delighted to bring one of football's elite tournaments to the Indian viewers exclusively on Sony Six. As a broadcaster we are always in pursuit of the best of international sport and through our latest acquisition we will take the fans closer to the high impact action that the Uefa Euro 2016 promises to deliver."

Uefa marketing director Guy-Laurent Epstein said, "We are pleased to welcome Sony Six to the family of broadcasters for the Uefa Euro 2016. Uefa believes that the Sony Six channel and its commitment to high quality programming and sport is an excellent home for Uefa's flagship national team competition."

Euro 2016 will be held in France with provisional dates of 10 June - 10 July 2016. For the first time in the tournament's history, the 2016 finals will be a 24 team tournament, having been expanded from the 16 team format that had been used since 1996. At the finals, it is proposed that teams will be eliminated using a new format of six groups of four, followed by three knockout rounds, followed by the final. France has inherited direct entry into finals.

In terms of other big soccer properties the 2014 World Cup rights are coming up for grabs as well and there would be competition for that as well. MSM president network sales, licensing and telephony Rohit Gupta said that the aim is to acquire marquee properties that appeal to the youth. "We already have the IPL which is the biggest property. We have identified soccer as a sport that we need to have. Euro was a big opportunity. As other properties come along like the World Cup we will evaluate them."

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