An invitation to tender has been issued in France for broadcast rights to the 2021 edition of the Uefa Women’s European Championship.
SportBusiness understands that the sales process was initiated on Tuesday and a bid deadline of September 24 has been set.
The tournament will take place in England from July 11 to August 1, 2021.
The launch of the ITT process comes just two months after France’s hosting of the Fifa Women’s World Cup, a tournament that pulled in huge viewing figures.
France’s quarter-final loss to eventual winners USA was watched by an average of 10.7 million viewers (a 51-per-cent share) on TF1, the French free-to-air commercial broadcaster. A further 1.1 million subscribers watched the game on pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus. The French team’s last-16 victory over Brazil was watched by an average of 10.6 million viewers on TF1, plus 1.3 million Canal Plus subscribers.
TF1 acquired the rights to the 2019 Women’s World Cup in a deal worth €10m ($11m) and that was representative of blossoming rights fees in major markets for women’s football’s showpiece event. French free-to-air digital terrestrial broadcaster W9 had paid just €850,000 for the rights to the 2015 tournament.
TF1 then went on to sublicense the pay-TV rights to the 2019 tournament to Canal Plus.
Rights to the 2017 Women’s Euro were held in France by public broadcaster France Télévisions.
UK public-service broadcaster the BBC landed exclusive rights to Euro 2021 in a deal announced in July and will provide extensive coverage of every match from across television, radio and online platforms.