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ESPN And SBS Beat Fox To Champions League Rights Down Under

espn logo ESPN And SBS Beat Fox To Champions League Rights Down Under

The past several months have been a game of cat and mouse for Fox and ESPN. This year has already seen Fox beat ESPN to the UEFA Champions League TV rights in the United States, Central America and South America. Now, ESPN along with SBS have acquired the TV rights in Australia to the Champions League, Europa League and UEFA Super Cup

According to The Australian, it’s not known whether Fox tendered a bid for the Australian rights. But whether they did or not, ESPN’s coup — alongside SBS — sends a strong message to Fox that the Bristol, Connecticut-based company means business.

While the Premier League TV rights in the United Kingdom were won by Sky Sports and Setanta for seasons 2010-2013, the TV rights for the United States, Australia and other countries around the globe have yet to be finalized. The next few months will determine whether ESPN is a player in the soccer landscape or not.

“The joint broadcast deal with SBS sees the US-based subscription channel hold exclusive first rights to games, while no one game will be broadcast concurrently on SBS and ESPN, as has happened this year,” reports The Australian.

SBS will broadcast a live game each match day and double-header matches during AEST on its primary, SBS One, platform with complimentary coverage on SBS Two.

SBS will share the broadcast rights with ESPN, and will collaborate to provide viewers with a greater choice in the pre-finals match weeks, by not broadcasting the same match as the pay-tv network simultaneously.


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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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