Eurosport scores Uefa Youth League rights

Pan-European sports broadcaster Eurosport has agreed a two-year deal to become the first official broadcast partner of Uefa’s new youth club football competition.

The deal for the Uefa Youth League takes in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons of the tournament and grants Eurosport exclusive European media rights to the first-pick match each matchweek.

Eurosport will produce the first-pick matches, including the semi-finals and final, and broadcast them across its pan-European network of channels.

As from the semi-finals, Uefa said Champions League rights-holders in the countries of the participating teams will be given the option to acquire the media rights to the matches co-exclusively with Eurosport.

Eurosport is the first official broadcast partner of the 2013-15 Youth League, but European football’s governing body added that Champions League rights-holders will also have the opportunity to produce and broadcast additional matches from the tournament.

The 32 clubs that have qualified for the 2013-14 Champions League group stage will participate in the new European under-19 club competition, which is designed to give young players international competition experience at club level.

The group stage will take place between September and December 2013, with fixtures being played around or on the same dates as the Champions League. The eight group-winners and eight runners-up from the Youth League group stage will then participate in a knockout phase, played in single matches from February 2014 onwards.

The first match to be produced and broadcast live on Eurosport will be Manchester United’s game against Bayer 04 Leverkusen on September 17.