Television

ESPN Star Sports wins broadcast rights to Uefa Euro 2008

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MUMBAI: ESPN Star Sports has won exclusive broadcast and internet rights for the Indian subcontinent for the 2008 European Football Championship (Uefa Euro 2008).

The territories that are covered in the deal are India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and the Maldives. With this acquisition, ESPN Star Sports will be broadcasting all 31 matches from the tournament live and exclusive.

Uefa Euro 2008 is the most prestigious tournament in the football calendar after the World Cup. The competition will feature the top 16 national teams from Europe and will be held in Austria and Switzerland in June, 2008. In addition to its live coverage of matches, ESPN Star Sports will be producing exclusive pre-game, post-game, and halftime shows around Uefa Euro 2008 as well as other localised content designed to broaden the base of football viewers in the Indian subcontinent. This commitment to broadcast Uefa Euro 2008 continues the 14-year association between ESS and Uefa which goes back to the inaugural season of the Uefa Champions League in 1992/3.

Commenting on the acquisition, ESS managing director Jamie Davis said: “I am delighted that the Uefa European Championship is returning to our networks in 2008. The fact that we are working directly with Uefa for the first time affirms their confidence in our efforts to deliver the best football programming to South Asian fans.”

“We have expanded the football-watching audience in India through concentrated marketing efforts and programming initiatives such as the introduction of Hindi commentary. Viewers can expect an exciting presentation and fresh innovations for Uefa Euro 2008.” Davis added.

Uefa director of marketing and media rights Philippe Le Floc’h said: “ESPN Star Sports is one of the most experienced sports broadcasters in the Indian subcontinent. We are excited to work again with ESPN Star Sports whose expertise and market position will further enhance the Uefa European Championship brand in the Indian subcontinent.”

This latest acquisition follows the recent three-year extension of rights for the English Premier League for the Indian subcontinent. ESS football coverage also includes the Spanish Primera Liga and the English FA Cup. ESS also annually produces over 1,000 hours of original football programming, including Nokia Football Crazy, Football Focus, Goals, Tiger FC Locker Room, Here We Go, First Edition and Football Extra.

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