Servus TV announces capture of Uefa club competition free-to-air rights

Commercial free-to-air broadcaster ServusTV has announced its acquisition of a host of Uefa club competition rights in Austria across the 2021-22 to 2023-24 cycle.

It has acquired non-exclusive live rights to the Champions League first-pick Wednesday match, final, and highlights. It also picked up non-exclusive live rights to the first-pick Europa League or newly-created Europa Conference League match.

David Morgenbesser, head of sports rights and content distribution, said: “The best sport at ServusTV is and will be the guiding principle of our actions. The acquisition of the Uefa Champions League and the Uefa Europa and Conference League is the first milestone in our new sports strategy.”

Uefa’s deal with Red Bull Media-owned Servus TV was reported by SportBusiness in December last year.

Through exclusive club competition sales agent Team Marketing, it launched tenders in Austria on October 30, with a bid deadline of December 3. One was for top-tier Champions League right, the other for second-tier Europa League and third-tier Europa Conference League.

Sky Deutschland picked up pay-television rights to all live matches from all three Uefa club competitions. Its rights are exclusive, bar the matches shown by Servus TV and also the second-pick Europa League or Europa Conference League match. Uefa has sold the latter rights to public-service ORF.

Servus TV has recently become more aggressive in seeking premium sports rights in the country. Before the Uefa club competition deals, it is thought it bid for a host of International Ski Federation rights.

SportBusiness Media reported on Uefa’s sales process and deal values earlier this year. Sky and ORF are yet to formally announce their deals.

In the current 2018-18 to 2020-21 cycle, Sky acquired exclusive Champions League rights and then subsequently sublicensed a significant portion to international subscription streaming service DAZN.

DAZN acquired pay-television rights to the Europa League, with commercial broadcaster Puls 4 picking up on live free-to-air match.