Sat.1, Premiere share soccer rights

Pair sign up European rights

German broadcasting group ProSiebenSat.1 and paybox Premiere have extended deals with UEFA, which represents the European national soccer associations.

Pacts covers free and pay TV rights, respectively, for the glamorous Champions League, running for a three-year period to 2012.

Sat.1 also will air the slightly less prestigious (and considerably less expensive) UEFA Cup soccer tournament during the same period.

Premiere broadcasts all 145 Champions League matches, while ProSiebenSat.1will have access to one match per week as well — 17 in total — in the tournament pitting Europe’s top soccer clubs against each other.

“For the first time, we’ll have the possibility of broadcasting all matches live or time-delayed on our own line and mobile distribution channels,” said ProSiebenSat.1 topper Guillaume de Posch.

The Sat.1 deal includes rights to broadcast 29 UEFA Cup matches. Video-on-demand rights are also included.

No terms were provided.

Sat.1 will be able to select one of the Wednesday Champions League matches for live broadcast — matches are played on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from September until May. If there is only one German team left, Sat.1 will be able to pick a Tuesday-night match instead.

The top three German teams from the previous season qualify for the tournament, which gathers together the continent’s top 32 soccer clubs. The tournament generates impressive ratings across Europe.

Premiere said its deal included the exclusive, platform-neutral pay TV rights — cable, satellite, IPTV, Internet and mobile.

The company said it would broadcast 145 matches live, up from 125 previously, on 34 days over 17 weeks. Each week will include at least one match in HDTV, as in the past.

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