Bids invited for Uefa club competition TV rights in Balkans

Invitations to submit offers (ISOs) have been launched in seven countries across the Balkan region for rights to the Uefa Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League covering the 2021-22 to 2023-24 cycle.

Two tenders – one for the Champions League and Uefa Super Cup, the other for Europa League and the new third-tier Europa Conference League – were launched on January 15, in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia.

The ISO processes were issued by the Team Marketing agency, Uefa’s exclusive sales agent for its club competition rights. The deadline for submission of bids in each market is 10am (CET) on February 10.

In the current 2018-19 to 2020-21 cycle, Uefa and Team sold rights in the Balkans to the Champions League and Europa League on a market-by-market basis.

Champions League rights in Albania were exclusively acquired by pay-television broadcaster Tring TV, whilst Europa League rights in the country were acquired by pay-television broadcaster Digitalb (all matches) and public-service broadcaster RTSH (first-pick match).

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, pay-television Champions League and Europa League rights were acquired by Serbia-based telcoms operator Telekom Srbija. Free-to-air Champions League rights were acquired by the Direct Media agency and later sold on to public-service broadcaster BHRT.

Direct Media also acquired free-to-air rights to both Champions League and Europa League in Montenegro. Pay-television rights in the country to all matches from both competitions were also acquired by Telekom Srbija, which duly acquired the same set of rights in Serbia.

Free-to-air rights in Serbia to the first-pick Champions League match on Wednesday and first-pick Europa League match were awarded to public-service broadcaster RTS.

In Croatia, telco Telekom Austria – which operates A1 Hrvatska in the country – acquired pay-television rights to all Champions League matches, whilst public-service broadcaster HRT picked up free-to-air rights to the first-pick match on Wednesday. Europa League rights were awarded exclusive to telco Hrvatski Telekom.

Exclusive rights to both competitions were awarded in both Kosovo and North Macedonia, to pay-television broadcaster Kujtesa and telco Makedonski Telekom, respectively.

The 2018-21 cycle was the first time Uefa and Team sold rights in Kosovo separately. Uefa club competition media rights in Kosovo were previously folded into broadcast deals covering Serbia.

Uefa and Team chose the US market as the first in which to go to market for the new cycle as the international sales process began three and a half months ago. Rights processes were then initiated in the UK, France, Russia, Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Deals have now been finalised in most countries, with exceptions including Russia (and the sale of Europa League rights in Germany).

The sales process in Malta was also initiated earlier this month.