UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, has begun the tender process to find a broadcaster partner in Italy for the 2024-27 cycle of its major club competition tournaments.

The body, in a separate development, has also issued a request for proposals for that same cycle for various licensing product categories connected to the UEFA club competitions during that period. This process is Europe-wide.

The Italian tender, issued on January 16, covers the top-tier UEFA Champions League, second-tier Europa League, and third-tier Europa Conference League, across the 2024-25, 2025-26, and 2026-27 seasons. It takes the form of an 'invitation to submit offer' (ISO) process.

The deadline for submission of ISOs from interested broadcasters is February 14.

The current UCL media rights partners in Italy, are Amazon Prime Video, Sky Italia (those two for the entire 2021-24 cycle), and Mediaset, with those first two broadcasters securing rights in early 2021 and Mediaset picking up 2022-23 rights in June last year.

For the Europa League and Europa Conference League, meanwhile, Sky Italia also holds rights, as does international sports streaming service DAZN.

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By GlobalData

Italy follows on from other major European soccer markets such as France, Germany, and the Netherlands, where tender processes for the 2024-27 club competition cycle have already been completed.

Pay-TV giant Canal Plus will cover UCL action in France, international streaming service DAZN will do so in Germany alongside Amazon, while telecoms operator Ziggo will do so in Germany.

Tenders have also taken place in other key markets for UEFA, such as the US (CBS/Paramount) and the UK (a combination of Amazon and BT Sport for live action, and the public-service BBC for highlights).

The last market where rights have been allocated for the 2024-27 UCL cycle is Austria, through three deals struck in December.

These sales processes are being conducted by Team Marketing, UEFA’s partner agency for club competition commercial matters.

The UEFA licensing categories available are onsite finals retail; online retail, physical retail; official local retailers; unbranded apparel and novelty; club servicing design; toys and board games; and back to school.

Sales processes will open in the first and second quarter of 2023, UEFA has said, and companies interested in learning more about the available rights should contact uccpartners@team.ch.

The governing body has said it is looking for proposals “from suitably qualified companies, ideally with experience working with sports properties, in relation to the creation of club competition branded licensed products.”

Team Marketing is also in charge of handling this, and the tender covers the same competitions as the media rights process.

In their submission, prospective bidders should include a company profile, details about any similar licenses held, and examples of other licensed products currently being developed.

UEFA has stated that, for this process, it cannot grant licensing rights for individual clubs and players, and that these will need to be agreed “directly with the intellectual property owners if of interest.”

Last week, UEFA launched a tender process to find a supplier and marketer for the official UCL, also for the 2024-27 cycle.

Adidas, the German sportswear giant, has been the UCL’s official match ball supplier since 2001, with its current deal running through until the end of 2023-24.

Aside from supplying and marketing the official match ball, also included in this package are those rights across sports equipment, apparel, and footwear.

The deadline for proposals on this front is February 6 at 12:00 Central European Time (CET).

The 2024-25 campaign will see an increase in the number of teams involved in the group stages of the UCL, up from 32 to 36, resulting in a rise in the number of overall games from 125 to 189.

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