UEFA has elected Aleksander Čeferin for a second successive term. The incumbent President for his new tenure announced a series of first for the governing body for football in Europe.
High on his agenda is a UEFA OTT platform, to be launched by mid-2019. In his maiden address shortly after being confirmed for a second successive term in the office, the UEFA president said that a major challenge in the years ahead would involve making football more accessible to all fans across the planet, thanks to exciting new digital platforms.
“This is why I am pleased to announce that UEFA will be launching its OTT platform in the next six months,” he said. “We are fully aware that a revolution is under way, and are in the process of agreeing historic partnerships with the world’s leading companies in this field.
Ceferin further pointed out the sponsorship deal with the Chinese Alibaba group will play a lead role in UEFA’s technical and digital growth.
“We have already started to move in this direction thanks to a sponsorship deal with the Alibaba Group. This partnership is more than a simple sponsorship deal. It’s a first agreement that opens up new horizons, such as the creation of a centre of excellence in new football technologies or joint e-commerce projects.
“Together, we are inventing the future, and our only limit is our imagination.”
The UEFA President said that focus would be given to grassroots football and education, while concerted work would be devoted to making ‘football fairer’ through the further development of the financial fair play system that has helped restore stability to European club football. the next six months
Even though, UEFA will become the first continental administrative body for football to have its own streaming service, fans might have to wait for a couple of years to get the premium Champions League content.
Ceferin has confirmed the OTT service in the beginning will cover women’s and youth matches, besides archive and non-live content. Since the Champions League streaming rights rest with the broadcasters the world over, any coverage of the live action will amount to breach of existing contracts.
“We will make football more accessible for fans, all fans across the planet,” said Ceferin at UEFA’s annual congress in Rome. “This is one of the main challenges for the coming years.
UEFA secretary-general Theodore Theodoridis has confirmed that the OTT service should be available by June. He also confirmed that UEFA will look for ways to include its flagship competitions on the platform when its existing rights deals expire.