Sky Österreich, the pay-television operator in Austria, will continue its wide-ranging coverage of European men's club soccer competitions after securing a plethora of rights from UEFA’s second-tier Europa League and third-tier Europa Conference League for the 2024-27 cycle.
The agreement, unveiled yesterday (February 9), sees Sky acquire rights to show 323 matches per season from the two competitions across the three-season cycle, including exclusive rights to 306 fixtures. First-pick matches from both tournaments have been secured by Canal Plus.
Sky has already secured rights in Austria to all Tuesday night matches and eight of the nine Wednesday night matches from the top-tier UEFA Champions League for the 2024-27 cycle, with rival broadcaster Canal Plus also holding first-pick Wednesday matches in a separate deal.
Under that deal, Sky will hold rights to 185 out of 203 Champions League matches, with both Sky and Canal Plus showing the final.
Free-to-air (FTA) rights to one Europa League or Europa Conference League match per week for the new cycle will be held by Puls 4., the ProSiebenSat.1-owned broadcaster that also secured rights to air a Champions League highlights show on Tuesday evenings.
Sky Österreich deputy managing director Michael Radelsberger said: “The extensive rights for the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League ideally complement Sky’s existing sports portfolio and together with the UEFA Champions League, cement our position as the home of UEFA club competitions in Austria.”
Sky holds rights to all matches from the Europa League and Europa Conference League in the current three-season cycle, while FTA rights are held by commercial broadcaster ServusTV, which holds non-exclusive rights to the first-pick Europa League or Europa Conference League match.
ORF, the Austrian public broadcaster, meanwhile, holds rights to the second-pick matches from both competitions.
For the current cycle, Sky Österreich has sublicensed its exclusive Champions League rights to the streaming platform DAZN.
The deal comes after Team Marketing, global rights distributor to UEFA’s men’s club competitions in all territories except the US, launched the governing body’s sale process in German-speaking countries (including Austria and Switzerland) on October 10. The first-round bid deadline was November 14.
Meanwhile, SRG SSR, the public-service broadcaster in Switzerland, has secured free-to-air rights to the three European club soccer competitions after striking deals with UEFA and Blue, the pay-television operator formerly known as Teleclub.
Under a deal with UEFA, also brokered by Team Marketing, SRG will air the final of the top-tier Champions League from 2024-25 to 2026-27.
SRG will also air one Champions League match per week during the group stage of the competition through a separate sub-licensing deal with Blue, which allows the broadcaster to show a total of 17 matches per season during the same 2024-27 cycle.
As part of that deal, if a Swiss team reaches the play-off stage of the competition, SRG will gain the rights to two extra matches.
Its deal with Blue also gives SRG rights to one match per round during the league phase of the second-tier Europa League and third-tier Europa Conference League, as well as the finals of both competitions.
Blue holds exclusive live rights to all three competitions, except the Champions League final, as part of its recently renewed agreement with Team Marketing covering the 2024-25 to 2026-27 seasons.
SRG, which also sublicenses highlights rights to all three competitions from Blue, said it will broadcast its suite of rights across its German-language SRF, French-language RTS, and Italian-language RSI channels, as well as on its online platforms.