ESS bags rights for Uefa 'Euro 2004' for the Indian Sub-continent

MUMBAI: ESPN Star Sports (ESS) is going to play football in a major way this year. The broadcaster has announced that it has acquired the Uefa Euro 2004 broadcasting rights for the Indian Sub-continent. This is considered to be the second most important soccer property after the Fifa World Cup.

The event which takes place from 12 June to 4 July will see 16 European teams competing including France, England, Germany and Italy. 50 of Uefa's 51 participating teams were included in the draw to qualify for the first 15 spots. The host country Portugal qualified automatically.

ESPN Software India MD RC Venkateish was quoted in an official release saying, " Considered one of the biggest competitions on the sporting calendar, Euro has a strong fan following in India. As the telecast times on our chanel are at around 9:30 pm in India, we expect the tournament to attract a lot of viewers nationally. The event provides an exciting and clutter-free environment to our advertisers to reach its target audiences. It is also happening at a time when there is no other global sporting event."

The event will have 31 matches including 24 first round matches. In addition to the live telecasts ESS will also produce daily half hour pre-match highlights complemented with four weekly one-hour highlights. The football package will include specials such as The Story of the Uefa European Football Championships, The Road to Uefa Euro 2004, The Golden Moments, The Stars of the Uefa European Football Championships and The Stars of Uefa Euro 2004.

The latest acquisition complements the broadcaster's coverage of the English Premier League (EPL), Uefa Champions League, Uefa Cup and Spanish Primera Liga. Recently the network concluded an exclusive four-year agreement with Englands governing body of football, The Football Association (The FA).

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