Broadcasters in the 13 European and Central Asian countries have been given a bid deadline of 22 June to deliver offers for rights to soccer’s 2020 Uefa European Championships and qualifying matches for that tournament and the 2022 Fifa World Cup.
According to a Sportcal news report, The invitations to tender have been issued by the CAA Eleven agency as it ramps up its rights sales for Euro 2020, which will be held in 13 countries, including Azerbaijan, which is one of the countries where the sales process has begun.
Rights have also hit the market in the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, plus Armenia, Belarus, Georgia and Moldova.
The five Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are also covered.
The ‘European Qualifiers’ package also includes the Uefa Nations League, a new international competition beginning in 2018.
Public-service broadcasters in the Baltics, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Moldova currently hold rights to the European qualifying matches as part of the European Broadcasting Union’s 30-territory agreement that expires at the end of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
Those eight countries were also part of the EBU’s multi-territory agreement for rights to the Euro 2016 finals.
The invitations to tender issued by CAA Eleven are likely to be of particular interest to pay-TV broadcaster Setanta Sports Eurasia given it currently holds rights across most of the European and Central Asian countries to the national team qualifiers package.
CAA and Uefa recently finalised a qualifiers rights deal in Finland with Modern Times Group, the international media group.
Elsewhere, rights for the new cycle of qualifiers have been sold in Europe in Albania (Digit Alb), Austria (ORF), Belgium (RTBF, RTL and VTM), Germany (RTL), Iceland (RUV), Kosovo (Digit Alb), Poland (TVP and Polsat), Switzerland (SRG SSR), the UK (ITV and Sky).
A deal for the whole package of future national team rights, including the Euro 2020 finals, was agreed in the US market, as ESPN won the English-language rights and Univision picked up the Spanish-language rights.