Deutsche Telekom finalises Euro 2024 deal, mulls sale of free-to-air rights

German telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom has finalised its acquisition rights of exclusive broadcast rights to all 51 matches from the 2024 Uefa European Championship.

In landing the rights, Deutsche Telekom has displaced incumbent rights-holders ARD and ZDF, but is set to enter into negotiations with the public-service broadcasting duo (and commercial free-to-air networks) in selling on the free-to-air rights.

News of Deutsche Telekom’s move for the rights first emerged just over a month ago.

Deutsche Telekom said today (Wednesday) that it would offer coverage of all games via its TV and streaming platforms. However, the telco said that the teams of the German national team as well as “other matches” would be available on a free-to-air basis.

The semi-finals and finals are among those that will be shown free-to-air. Germany’s listed-events legislation dictates that the national team’s matches, opening match, semi-finals and final have to be shown free-to-air.

Deutsche Telekom said that it is “also considering a possible sub-licensing to a free-to-air TV partner”. ZDF today told the DPA news agency that it is still interested in adding Euro 2024 coverage “in any form” and that it remains open for talks with Deutsche Telekom.

The games are to be exploited on Deutsche Telekom by its pay-television OTT platform Magenta TV (and Magenta Sport offering).

The sales process has been administered by CAA Eleven, Uefa’s exclusive marketing agency for the sale of media and commercial rights relating to its national team competitions.

Euro 2024 will be held in Germany, and the media rights to the tournament have been sold first in the host country. Uefa launched an invitation to tender for the rights on June 11, with a deadline for the submission of bids on July 9.

ARD and ZDF, the long-standing broadcasters of the European Championships, acquired rights to Euro 2020 in October 2016.

Michael Hagspihl, Deutsche Telekom’s managing director, private customers, said that the telecoms group would “use our technical know-how to provide all audiences with a unique and innovative football experience”.

Deutsche Telekom’s current football rights portfolio is limited to the German third-tier 3. Liga, whilst also holding rights to Euroleague basketball and domestic basketball and ice hockey leagues.