Sky Sports clinches international football deal

Subscribers in Ireland can look forward to more international football with latest deal to broadcast more live Euro and World Cup qualifiers

David Baker
by David Baker on 15th May, 2013

Sky Sports has scooped a major international football broadcasting rights deal. The sports channel has been awarded the exclusive rights to broadcast live the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Euro 2016 qualification games for all Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland matches.

ITV has extended an existing deal to broadcast the England games, with Sky Sports securing a highlights package for these matches and the rights to broadcast the full game if England is playing any of the Home Nations away.

The package extends from 2014 to 2017 and covers 500 matches, including those played by other UEFA member associations.

The Managing Director of Sky Sports, Barney Francis, heralded Sky as the “home of televised football” as they have an “unrivalled portfolio of rights” across all six of their sports channels. He promised that in the upcoming four years, Sky Sports viewers would be watching world-class players and teams as they follow the entire qualification journey of “football’s most important international tournaments”.

Sky Sports has also landed the exclusive rights to broadcast live the UEFA European Under-21 Championship games this year. The tournament will be held from 5 June in Israel, with teams from England, Germany, Italy and Spain, just some of the top teams across Europe competing for the trophy. Viewers will see some of football’s next generation of champions in action.

The sports broadcasting stakes are high at the moment with BT announcing their BT Sport channels. BT are also looking to introduce their sports package to Irish viewers with possible deals with Sky and UPC being explored at present.

Sky Sports responded by ensuring intensive coverage of the major sporting events world-wide. Besides football, Francis says they have included both Ashes Series, F1 motor racing, the British and Irish Lions Tour, the ICC Champions Trophy, Super League, US Open Tennis, and the US Open and the US PGA Golf tournaments.

Compare Sky digital TV deals.