Thursday, 13 June 2019

Uefa launches free-to-air OTT platform

European football’s governing body Uefa has launched a free-to-air OTT streaming platform to show live and on-demand video content from various competitions, including national leagues, with the German Bundesliga the first to be broadcast.

The service, which is called UEFA.tv, will offer a wide range of ancillary and archive content as well as live coverage of youth, women’s and futsal Uefa competitions in relevant markets.

Starting next season, the Bundesliga will be the first national league to be represented on the European governing body’s new digital portal. UEFA and the Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) have entered into a partnership that provides for a separate channel on the streaming platform with videos from the Bundesliga in addition to European competitions. This service will be available as from the launch and will include Monday highlights of weekend matches and shows such as the “Bundesliga Special”, aligned especially to the interests of international fans. In addition, archives of past top Bundesliga matches and unforgettable UEFA Champions League matches involving German teams will be available.

“The digital landscape is evolving and we need to be in a position where we can anticipate and respond to these changes,” said UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin. “UEFA is an innovative organisation and by introducing this platform, we will be making football and our competitions more accessible to supporters around the world. “Our partnership with the Bundesliga is yet another example of the unity of European football and clearly demonstrates our desire to address future opportunities together for the promotion of our sport.”

“Media use is changing constantly,” said DFL CEO Christian Seifert. “UEFA’s new streaming service is a very timely step to reach football fans around the world, especially younger target groups.”

Bundesliga content on UEFA.tv will initially be available in major European markets such as the UK, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain and Turkey as well as the Middle East and Africa.

Earlier this year, Spain’s LaLiga launched the LaLigaSportsTV OTT service, while the English Premier League is working with global professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal on an OTT platform for its next rights cycle, from 2022-23 onward.

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