Mediapro nets Champions League host broadcast role, ZDF to show final with German team

Barcelona-based rights and production agency Mediapro will produce the host broadcast signal for the truncated latter stages of this season’s Uefa Champions League in Portugal.

The agency is handling the broadcast production for all seven matches remaining in the competition in both high definition and ultra-high definition in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon.

Mediapro will use 25 cameras in the quarter final matches and 28 in the semi-finals, rising to 31 cameras for the final on August 23.

Mediapro outlined: “Four 4K Outside Broadcast Units and one HD/3G Unit, more than 200 professionals and up to 31 cameras, including two ultra-slow motion, three SteadyCam RF, two remote pole cams, one 4Sky System and one drone will be used in the production of one of the sporting events with the greatest impact worldwide.”

The award marks the fourth time that Mediapro has been awarded the broadcast production rights to a Champions League final, having previously won the contract for the 2010 and 2019 finals in Madrid, as well as the 2014 final in Lisbon.

Uefa has moved swiftly to ensure that its production is all in place as the tournament continues in Portugal with the first quarter-final tonight (between Atalanta and Paris Saint-Germain).

The European governing body has already turned to pay-television broadcaster Sky Deutschland to provide the enhanced crowd noise for the matches during the final stages in Germany of both the Champions League and Europa League tournaments.

The Champions League quarter-final, semi-finals and final matches will all be played in Lisbon from August 12 to August 23, while the remaining round-of-16 matches will be played in the originally scheduled venues on August 7 and 8.

The Europa League quarter-final, semi-finals and final matches will all be played across four German cities (Cologne, Duisburg, Düsseldorf and Gelsenkirchen) until August 21.

ZDF to show final involving German team(s)

Meanwhile, German public-service broadcaster is to show the Champions League final should a German team take part, it was announced today (Wednesday).

ZDF said that it had reached an agreement with Uefa and rights-holders Sky Deutschland and subscription OTT broadcaster DAZN.

There are two German teams left in Europe’s elite clubs competition. RB Leipzig will face Spain’s Atlético de Madrid in tomorrow’s quarter-final, while Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich will tackle Barcelona on Friday.

A Champions League final with German participation must be shown free-to-air in accordance with local listed-events legislation. In this instance, Sky has the option of showing the match on its free-to-air Sky Sport News channel, or sublicensing it to a free-to-air broadcaster.

Champions League coverage moved exclusively behind a pay wall in Germany in 2018 after ZDF was unable to hold on to its rights. However, the public broadcaster has already secured rights to the 2022, 2023 and 2024 Champions League finals as part of its rights package acquired for the new cycle.

There was some anger from German football fans last season when there was no free-to-air coverage of the Champions League final (between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur). The game was only shown by DAZN and Sky.

The last Champions League final to be shown by ZDF was the 2018 match-up between Liverpool and Real Madrid. An average audience of 9.63 million watched the final on ZDF, equal to a 37.9-per-cent viewing share.