Digi Sport, the Romanian pay-TV broadcaster, has secured rights to English soccer’s top-tier Premier League during the next broadcast cycle, between 2022-23 and 2024-25, and will share coverage with commercial network Look Sport.
From the start of next season, those broadcasters will hold exclusive Premier League rights in Romania between them, in an agreement that brings an end to coverage of the English league in the country on Eurosport, the pan-continental sports broadcaster.
Digi Sport is adding English soccer’s top-tier competition to a portfolio already including Italy’s Serie A, Germany’s Bundesliga, Spain’s LaLiga, and France’s Ligue 1 – the deal, therefore, means it holds rights to all of the continent’s ‘Big Five’ leagues.
Eurosport had covered the Premier League in Romania since 2013, so will have covered nine seasons by the time its deal ends at the culmination of the ongoing 2021-22 season in May.
The tender for Premier League rights in Romania was launched in May, as part of a wider offering to over 40 Eastern European and Central Asian countries, with a deadline for first-round bids of June 24.
Matches will be shown by Digi Sports’ linear channels, the digisport.ro online site, the recently-launched Digi Online mobile app, and through Digi 4K.
The pay-TV broadcaster last held Premier League rights in the cycle between 2010-11 and 2012-13.
It shares rights to LaLiga and Serie A with Look Sport and also with Telekom Romania, while over the summer it extended its deal covering Ligue 1 until the end of 2023-24.
It also covers the Uefa Champions League, the prestigious pan-continental club's competition, again in a deal running up to the finale of the 2023-24 campaign.
Serghei Bulgac, chief executive of Digi, said: “We are pleased to announce that Digi Sport will broadcast the next three seasons of the Premier League, content that perfectly complements the variety of sports competitions brought to the homes of millions of football and sports fans in general.”
Late last month, Greek pay-TV broadcaster Nova secured exclusive domestic rights to the Premier League for the next six seasons, winning back rights in another of the 40 countries subject to the May tender.
The long-term deal begins with the 2022-23 campaign and runs through to 2027-28.
As part of its rights package, Nova, owned by telecoms and media company United Group, will show all 380 matches per season from the English top flight.
November also saw NBC, the USA-based national network, retain exclusive Premier League rights, again in a six-year extension, in a record-breaking deal worth £2 billion ($2.7 billion).
The six-year deal, which starts at the beginning of the 2022-23 season and runs through until May 2028, has a value of over double (and nearly triple) that of NBC’s current arrangement with the league – $1 billion between 2016 and the end of the ongoing 2021-22 campaign.
NBC saw off strong competition from rival US networks including ViacomCBS, ESPN, and Fox to secure rights after the first round of bidding earlier last month failed to come up with a preferred candidate. CBS and ESPN both put in individual bids at the second time of asking, while Fox reportedly allied with other media groups in order to create a joint submission.