ESPN has followed in the footsteps of Turner Sports by signing the rights for major European soccer events for their Over-The-Top (OTT) live streaming platforms.
The top division of Italian Club Football, Serie A, has secured numerous deals which will give fans around the world access to stream every game from the start if the 2018/19 season, including Cristiano Ronaldo’s highly anticipated debut for Juventus later this month following his $117 million transfer from Real Madrid.
ESPN have acquired the exclusive U.S. rights to broadcast Serie A matches on ESPN+, their new OTT Streaming Service, after reaching an agreement with Serie A TIM. The multi-year rights agreement will see ESPN+ stream more than 340 matches per season, an average of nine matches per week.
“This agreement, together with those recently concluded, shows the value of both Serie A TIM and its champions, which will be appreciated by more than 90 million soccer fans and enthusiasts in the U.S. in the next years”. Gaetano Miccichè, President, Serie A
Turner have acquired the rights to broadcast UEFA Champions League and Europa League, taking over from Fox Sports as the exclusive rights holder for both competitions in the USA. In addition to broadcasting 47 games on live television, Turner recently announced that the remaining games, almost 300 in total, will be exclusively available on its new stand-alone OTT streaming service Bleacher Report Live (B/R Live).
Sports rights ownership has become a key battleground for media companies, in a world where consumers of sports and entertainment content are cutting the cord and subscribing to cheaper online streaming.