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Uefa TV set for 2019 launch

Uefa president Aleksander Čeferin has announced that European football’s governing body will launch its own OTT platform later this year.

Čeferin made the announcement today (Thursday) as he was re-elected for a second four-year term in office at the 43rd Uefa Ordinary Congress in Rome.

The prospect of an OTT service to house competitions and content outside of the flagship Champions League and Europa League club competitions was first raised by Uefa marketing director, Guy-Laurent Epstein, in September.

Čeferin said today that a major challenge for Uefa in the years ahead would involve making football more accessible to all fans across the world, through new digital platforms. “This is why I am pleased to announce that Uefa will be launching its OTT platform in the next six months,” he said.

“We are fully aware that a revolution is under way, and are in the process of agreeing historic partnerships with the world’s leading companies in this field. We have already started to move in this direction thanks to a sponsorship deal with the Alibaba Group.

“This partnership is more than a simple sponsorship deal. It’s a first agreement that opens up new horizons, such as the creation of a centre of excellence in new football technologies or joint e-commerce projects. Together, we are inventing the future, and our only limit is our imagination.”

UK newspaper The Independent said that the provisionally-named Uefa TV will only be available outside Europe and North America after its launch, with Champions League content unlikely to be available until 2021 due to the terms of existing broadcast rights deals.