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Soccer - 11 Oct 2021
Czech TV, the public-service broadcaster in the Czech Republic, has secured broadcasting rights for the 2024 and 2028 editions of soccer’s Uefa European Championships top-tier national teams competition and the next three editions of the lower tier Uefa Nations League (2022-23, 2024-25 and 2026-2027).
The deal also includes rights to broadcast the Czech Republic’s qualifying matches for Euro 2024 and 2028, their qualifying matches for the Fifa World Cup in 2026, and their friendly matches for the next seven years, up until the 2028 Euros.
The rights were won via a competitive tender process, with Czech TV having had to make its case before an international commission.
Its chief executive Petr Dvořák has noted the difficulty in competing against commercial and pay-TV broadcasters, saying: “Sports rights have been a problem for all public service broadcasters in recent years. Enormous audience interest opens up significant opportunities for presentations by advertising and sponsoring partners, which makes sports rights a valuable business item, which in recent years has increasingly been acquired by large multinational companies and not by public service broadcasters.”
The deal sees Czech TV continue as the country’s broadcaster for the European Championship and Nations League, already being the rights-holder for both competitions up to the newly announced editions.
It also has rights to show the 2022 men’s Fifa World Cup.
Earlier this year, it retained rights to European soccer’s pan-continental Uefa Europa League, the second-tier clubs competition, for the 2021-22 to 2023-24 rights cycle, and added the new third-tier Europa Conference League (holding its inaugural season this year) to its portfolio.
Jiří Ponikelský, executive director of Czech TV sport, added: “For the next three years, we have the opportunity to bring our spectators the matches of the Czech national football team from the Uefa League of Nations. We are thus supplementing the portfolio of already-acquired broadcasting rights from the 2022 World Cup and the Uefa European League and the Uefa European Conference League, which we can broadcast until 2024.”
Across other sports, Czech TV also holds free-to-air rights in the country to the 2022 and 2024 editions of the Olympics, through a sub-licensing deal with original rights-holder Eurosport, which will show those events on pay-TV in the Czech Republic.