• | 3:08 pm

Sony renews deal to telecast UEFA matches in India

Sony is expected to telecast more than 1,600 football matches across its channels over three seasons, as part of the renewed contract

Sony renews deal to telecast UEFA matches in India
[Source photo: Chetan Jha/Press Insider]

Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI), has renewed its contract with the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to telecast some of the biggest European club football matches in India.

The new contract is valid from the 2024-25 season till the end of the 2026-27 edition, with Sony having the media rights to telecast more than 1,600 football matches across leagues, including the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League, on its channels.

The three-year deal could be valued at $40 million, The Economic Times reported, citing unidentified people aware of the matter.

The tournaments will be broadcast on its linear television on Sony Sports Network and live-streamed on the on-demand over-the-top (OTT) platform SonyLIV in the Indian subcontinent.

The UEFA Champions League will also be following a new format and competition system from 2024-25, with the addition of four new clubs.

In all, 36 clubs will participate in this single league format, and the UEFA’s premier club competitions will no longer have a break in January, a Sony Pictures Networks India press release said, adding that “fans can continue to enjoy non-stop European club football from August to May without any breaks in between.”

“Sony Sports Network, with a longstanding commitment to showcasing the very best of football, takes immense pride in announcing the extension of its partnership with UEFA for the next three seasons. Since 2020, UEFA Champions League viewership in India has surged by over 51%, attributed largely to the introduction of regional language commentary,” Rajesh Kaul, chief revenue officer for distribution and international business and head of sports business at Sony Pictures Networks India, said.

“With the forthcoming transition to a new format, featuring over 125 additional matches and up to 38 early kickoff matches per season, this growth will gain momentum further,” he added.

Sony Sports Network will telecast select UEFA Champions League matches in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. The contribution of regional language coverage to the viewership of the league’s knockout matches has gone up in recent years, with the incremental reach increasing from 25% in the 2020-21 season to 38% in the 2022-23 season, it added.

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with Sony Sports Network. Sony Sports Network coverage of UEFA properties in India has led to the growth of its following and viewership in India,” Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA events SA marketing director, said.

Sony Sports Network has been the home to UEFA Champions League since 2017 and, this year, the final will take place at the Wembley Stadium in London. Sony Sports Network is the official broadcaster for the UEFA EURO 2024, Bundesliga, Emirates FA Cup, Roshn Saudi Pro League and other tournaments.

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