EXCLUSIVE: Euro 2028 included as CAA Eleven launches six-year Uefa rights cycle

The CAA Eleven agency is to offer broadcasters the opportunity to bid for rights to both the 2024 and 2028 editions of the Uefa European Championship tournaments, SportBusiness understands, as it goes to market with a suite of Uefa national team competitions and matches.

On the back of the new sales mandate now in place with Uefa, CAA Eleven is taking the rights to market for six seasons, from 2022 to 2028.

Along with the rights to Euro 2024 and Euro 2028, the six-year period also includes the 2022-23, 2024-25 and 2026-27 editions of the Uefa Nations League (including the finals), qualifiers for Euro 2024 and Euro 2028, European qualifying matches for the 2026 World Cup and friendly matches to which the rights are centralised.

Having previously sold the rights in four-year cycles, the Nyon-based agency is now understood to have initiated the international sales process for the extended rights period, choosing the Nordic territories of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden to issue the first invitations to tender.

An early sales process for Euro 2024 rights was concluded in Germany last year (with telco Deutsche Telekom securing the rights), but that was considered an individual case as Uefa and CAA Eleven moved early to secure a lucrative agreement in the host country.

The details of Uefa’s new six-year sales mandate agreement with CAA Eleven were in the process of being finalised at the end of last year, although the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic served to hold back the launch of the international rights sales process.

SportBusiness understands that a bid deadline of midday (CET) on August 26 has been set for the individual ITT processes in the Nordic countries.

Separate but concurrent sales processes are being carried out for the European Championship rights (Euro 2024 and Euro 2028) and the ‘Uefa National Team Football’ rights (Uefa Nations League, European Qualifiers and friendly matches).

Broadcasters interested in acquiring rights to Euro 2028 as well as Euro 2024 will be asked to lodge separate bids on a standalone basis.

The format and host for the Euro 2028 tournament have still to be defined although the rights will be offered in the expectation that the format will be substantially similar to that of Euro 2024, which will feature 24 teams contesting 51 matches.

Should bids for the Euro 2028 rights be accepted, then it is expected that Uefa will issue a separate media-rights agreement that accounts for any subsequent changes to the format of the tournament, along with the exact rights, broadcast obligations and exclusivity on offer.

The rights on offer during CAA Eleven’s 2022-28 cycle also reflect an evolution of the interaction between broadcasters and sponsors as a means of easing broadcasters’ commercial concerns. Maximum exposure is still being targeted, but the tender documents are set to be shaped in such a way that emerging digital and OTT platforms – and not solely linear broadcasters – could fulfil the necessary minimum broadcast obligations.

Rights to the Euro 2020 finals, which have been postponed to the summer of 2021 amidst the calendar upheaval caused by Covid-19, are held in the Nordic region by Nent (Denmark), YLE (Finland), TV2 and NRK (Norway) and TV4 and SVT (Sweden). Rights to the Nations League, European Qualifiers and centralised friendly matches during the 2018-22 cycle are held by Discovery (Denmark), Nent (Finland), TV2 (Norway) and TV4 (Sweden).

Earlier this year, the English Premier League also chose the Nordic region in which to invite bids for rights across six seasons, from 2022-23 to 2027-28, and subsequently struck a deal with media company Nordic Entertainment (Nent) Group.