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O2 acquires NFL rights in Czech Republic, Slovakia from Network4

Pay-television broadcaster O2 has acquired rights to the NFL in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and will make content available via Digi Slovakia’s Premier Sport channel.

The three-season deal – from 2020 to 2022 – includes rights to five live games per week from the ‘Thursday Night Football’, ‘Sunday Night Football’, and ‘Monday Night Football’, shows, as well as the playoffs and the Super Bowl. Rights also include the NFL Game Day summary and highlights.

O2 has sublicensed the rights from Hungarian media group Network4, which acquired the rights in the Czech Republic and Slovakia directly from the NFL as part of a deal that also included Hungary. Network4 launched the Arena4 channel and Arena4+ OTT service in Hungary this year, but has no broadcasting operation in the Czech Republic or Slovakia.

Ana Lenerová, head of content at O2, said: “We have succeeded in boosting our sports content in a major way. The NFL ranks among the most popular and most closely watched sports tournaments.”

During the 2020 season, the NFL will be broadcast on the Premier Sport channel, which was launched last year and is owned by direct-to-home and IPTV platform Digi Slovakia. Digi Slovakia is owned by Slovak Telekom, a subsidiary of German telco Deutsche Telekom.

Premier Sport is available on providers O2, T-Mobile, Lama Energy-owned Telly (previously Digi TV) in the Czech Republic, and on Digi Slovakia and Orange Slovensko in Slovakia.

The agreement between O2 and Digi Slovakia to place rights on Premier Sport is similar in nature to an agreement last year, when Telly showcased its English Premier League rights on the channel. Telly customers now have access to NFL, and O2 customers will continue to access Premier League content.

Digi Slovakia covers the production of Premier League coverage in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

NFL broadcasts on Premier Sport begins with the season opener on September 11, and will have Czech-language commentary.

In the UK, commercial broadcaster Channel 5 has secured NFL rights for the next three seasons, as exclusively reported today (Monday) by SportBusiness.