FOX Sports Wins US Media Rights to European Qualifiers For Euro 2016 and 2018 World Cup

FOX Sports has acquired the US media rights to the European qualifiers for UEFA Euro 2016 and FIFA World Cup 2018.

FOX will have exclusive rights in the USA to all of the qualifying matches.

The qualifying matches for Euro 2016 begins in September, 2014 and runs through November, 2015 to determine the 23 qualifying teams (France, as host automatically qualifies for the tournament). The draw for the qualifying rounds is scheduled for March, 2014.

According to a statement on the UEFA website, “In the past, matches were often scheduled simultaneously, but will now be distributed over the matchweek, allowing viewers to follow the qualifying paths of more teams.” This is a huge change in the way that matches are scheduled, and it’s a giant step forward in the right direction where, in the past, it was often difficult to watch matches because there were so many being played at the same time.

Meanwhile, the draw for the European qualifying matches for FIFA World Cup 2018 is scheduled for July, 2015. Russia, as hosts, qualify automatically.

Presumably many of the high profile European qualifiers will be televised live on FOX Sports 1, while the less high profile ones could be shown on FOX Sports Go, their soon-to-be-launched mobile sports app.

For FOX Sports, this is a considerable coup to acquire the US media rights to all of the European qualifiers from 2014 through 2018. It means that as soon as ESPN’s coverage of the FIFA World Cup ends in the summer of 2014, FOX Sports 1 will have a monopoly on all of the important European international qualifiers for the next four years leading up to its coverage of the 2018 World Cup. ESPN still has the US media rights to Euro 2016, but will that be the last major soccer event on ESPN in the United States for the foreseeable future?

In Canada, Rogers Sportsnet, Inc. has purchased the media rights to UEFA qualifiers in for 2014-2017. In Spanish-speaking Latin America, SKY Mexico and DIRECTV Latin America has the rights.

FOX Sports has the US media rights to the FIFA World Cup 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

20 thoughts on “FOX Sports Wins US Media Rights to European Qualifiers For Euro 2016 and 2018 World Cup”

    1. Will it take an ’06 WC experience like ESPN had and make them change the way the WC should be covered?

  1. Gaffer,
    Do we know for sure if Fox Soccer is pulling its sub based 2go service? I ask because when I canceled my subscription after the Champions League final I was given the option to “suspend” it until August when Champions League qualification resumes. I would assume billing begins then as well. Or is Fox Sports 2go a new pay model?

    1. FOX Sports GO is available for free with an authenticated login (i.e. you’ll need to be a cable or satellite subscriber that gets FOX Sports 1 in order to successfully log on).

      My guess is that FOX Soccer 2Go will shut down in late July or early August and will re-launch as the free FOX Sports GO app.

      The Gaffer

  2. If someone at ESPN is reading this, please throw down some money and secure these broadcast rights before Fox does.

    1. Don’t see that happening at all.

      ESPN’s priorities in the U.S. are Monday night NFL, major College Football and basketball (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, PAC-12, SEC), NBA, and Sunday night MLB.

      I consider FOX and NBC/Telemundo (Comcast) to be the two leading contenders for the U.S. rights to Euro 2020 and 2024. I would be very surprised if ESPN were to retain the rights. I also don’t see Univision spending the big money on anything other than Liga MX and Copa MX.

      (Note: Liga MX remains the most valuable weekly league soccer product in the U.S. Univision will pay over $90 million/season for about 20 Chivas Guadalajara home matches alone. Not to mention that Univision should be paying about $8-10 million each for the home matches of 11 other teams. That means Univision will pay about $200 million/season for Liga MX and Copa MX matches. In comparison, NBC will pay $83.3 million/season annualized for EPL.)

      1. Correct. ESPN doesnt really even care all that much about football. It’s a shame really. But I support NBC or FOX getting those rights to the Euro’s 2020 and 2024. Anything to keep that BEIN Sport from getting anything. They have ruined alot of things.

        1. Remember that beIN SPORT LLC is all about “private banking transactions”.

          As far as I know, UEFA Events S.A. does NOT engage in the type of “private banking transactions” that the likes of beIN SPORT LLC conducts with various brokers and/or agencies.

  3. Fox must read the negative letters from angry fans who are already tired of Gus Johnson. No disrespect intended, but you have to get rid of this guy

  4. I know this is a bit of a way off yet, but any idea on when the auctioning of Euro 2020/24 TV rights will commence?

  5. Two minor typos:

    1. FOX Sports has U.S. ENGLISH-LANGUAGE media rights to World Cups 2018 and 2022. (Telemundo Media has Spanish-language video rights. Futbol de Primera has Spanish-language radio rights.)

    2. In Spanish-speaking Latin America, SKY Mexico and DIRECTV Latin America HAVE the media rights to the Euro qualifiers.

    Interesting to see both FOX and ESPN stepping aside for DIRECTV, Inc. (which operates both SKY Mexico and DIRECTV Latin America, though Televisa owns a significant stake in SKY Mexico.) DIRECTV, Inc. holds exclusive rights to the English Premier League and La Liga in Spanish-speaking Latin America as well as the Euro qualifiers, outbidding both FOX and ESPN. FOX Sports Latin America is left with Serie A and Dutch Eredivisie, while ESPN Latin America is left with the Bundesliga, the Brasileirao, and the Paulista League.

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