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YLE regains Finnish national team rights in six-year Uefa deal

Finnish public-service broadcaster YLE has won back rights to Finland’s national team matches in a wider agreement that also includes the 2024 and 2028 editions of the Uefa European Championship.

Following a sales process recently issued in the Nordic markets, Uefa and its appointed CAA Eleven agency have finalised a six-year agreement with YLE from 2022 to 2028.

YLE held the Finnish national team rights up until the end of the 2017-18 cycle. The public broadcaster was then usurped by commercial and pay-television broadcaster Nordic Entertainment (Nent) Group in a deal encompassing the European qualifying matches and the first two editions of the Uefa Nations League (in 2018-19 and 2020-21).

Along with the Euro 2024 and Euro 2028 finals, the rights now secured by YLE include Finland’s qualifying matches for the Uefa European Championship and Fifa World Cup, along with its matches in the Uefa Nations League and friendly matches.

It is understood that YLE’s agreement does not include the ‘third-party’ rights – European qualifiers and Nations League matches excluding Finland – with a deal for those rights set to be announced shortly with another broadcaster.

YLE already holds the rights to next year’s rescheduled Euro 2020 tournament, for which Finland have secured qualification, and the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

Earlier this month, Nent secured broadcast rights in Sweden to the country’s qualifying matches for the Uefa European Championship and Fifa World Cup, along with its matches in the Uefa Nations League in the first deal to cover the expanded six-season term. CAA Eleven previously marketed the rights in four-year cycles.

A first-round bid deadline of August 26 was set for the sales process in the Nordic markets.

Separate but concurrent sales processes were issued for the European Championship rights (Euro 2024 and Euro 2028) and the ‘Uefa National Team Football’ rights (Uefa Nations League, European Qualifiers, and friendly matches). Broadcasters interested in acquiring rights to Euro 2028 as well as Euro 2024 were asked to lodge separate bids on a standalone basis.

An early sales process for Euro 2024 rights only was concluded in Germany last year (with telco Deutsche Telekom securing the rights), but that was considered an individual case as Uefa and CAA Eleven moved early to secure a lucrative agreement in the host country.