Value of Euro 2021 media rights in France to more than double

Second-round bids from French broadcasters for rights to the 2021 edition of the Uefa Women’s European Championship are expected to more than double the rights fee currently generated by the property.

The invitation to tender process was launched on September 3, as reported by SportBusiness, and French broadcasters lodged their first-round offers on Tuesday.

Five broadcasters, including the major players across the French audiovisual landscape, have submitted offers, according to L’Equipe. These offers are reported to be in excess of €10m ($10.9m).

Rights to the 2017 Women’s Euro were held in France by public broadcaster France Télévisions in a deal worth €5m.

Given the competition for the Euro 2021 rights, a second round of bidding has now been organised by the CAA Eleven agency and offers must be submitted tomorrow (Friday).

The tournament will take place in England from July 11 to August 1, 2021 and the launch of the sales process comes hot on the heels of France’s hosting of the Fifa Women’s World Cup, a tournament that pulled in stellar 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 and that was representative of blossoming rights fees in major markets for women’s football’s showpiece event and a huge increase on the fee paid by French free-to-air digital terrestrial broadcaster W9 for the rights to the 2015 tournament.

TF1 then went on to sublicense the pay-TV rights to the 2019 tournament to Canal Plus.

Pay-TV broadcasters to have submitted offers for the Euro 2021 rights are thought to have included the guarantee of a number of major matches also being shown on free-to-air television. A promise that will, no doubt, satisfy the demands of Uefa and comes with games of the French women’s national team set to be included among the country’s protected list of sports events in the future.

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.