UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, has initiated the tender process in six Balkan markets for media rights sales for the 2024-27 cycle of its major club competitions.

Yesterday, (August 30), the governing body formally sent out an ‘invitation to submit offer’ (ISO) document concerning media rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia.

The tender covers the top-tier UEFA Champions League (UCL) for the three seasons between 2024-25 and 2026-27, as well as the second-tier UEFA Europa League and the third-tier UEFA Europa Conference League over the same period.

The deadline for the submission of bids is September 27 at 10:00AM CET.

During the current cycle, from 2021 to 2024, UCL action is shown in those six countries by TV Arena Sport, the pay-TV broadcaster owned by Telekom Serbia.

The sales process is being conducted by UEFA and Team Marketing, UEFA’s current commercial partner and rights distributor in Europe. All enquiries regarding the tender should be sent to info@team.ch.

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So far, deals have been struck in two European countries – the UK, where BT Sport and Amazon will split live rights, and France, where existing partner Canal Plus renewed with UEFA and Team.

In terms of other key markets, meanwhile, Paramount Global, the major US broadcast network, has retained English-language rights to the UCL and the two other competitions through a six-year deal starting in 2024, which is reportedly worth $1.5 billion.

The start of 2024-25 will see a dramatic change in the format of the Champions League. The number of teams will increase from 32 currently to 36, and each side competing in the initial group stages will play eight games, up from six now.

This will result in significantly more games to present to broadcasters during tender processes such as this one.

The top eight teams in the combined 36-team group will go through automatically into a 16-team knockout round, and will then be joined by another eight sides who have to progress to the knockouts via a playoff round.

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