Sky announce rights, but what is the UEFA Nations League?

Date published: Thursday 26th January 2017 9:30

England: Rights deals announced

Sky Sports have announced they have “won the exclusive live rights” to show competitive England matches in the brand new UEFA Nations League.

The agreement offers up to 900 live matches between 2018 and 2022. It means that Sky Sports will be the best place for viewers to follow the qualification progress of all of the Home Nations for the next six years.

The new deal for European national team football includes qualifiers for UEFA Euro 2020 and FIFA World Cup 2022.

A Sky statement reads: “Sky Sports has won exclusive live rights to all Home Nations for the inaugural staging of the UEFA Nations League, which will be split into four leagues based on UEFA rankings with the best teams playing the best teams across September, October and November 2018.

“The four group winners will enter the knockout final four in June 2019, with semi-finals and final to determine the UEFA Nations League champion. The Nations League will determine the seedings for the qualifiers for UEFA Euro 2020 and FIFA World Cup 2022.”

Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports said: “Showing England in competitive matches exclusively live for the first time in seven years is great news for our viewers with the UEFA Nations League putting the top nations against each other regularly.

“Added to the recent success of Wales and Northern Ireland in reaching major tournaments, there is even more reason to follow the Home Nations on Sky Sports.”

Meanwhile, live coverage of England’s qualifiers for Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup will be aired on free-to-air television as ITV has retained exclusive rights.

The broadcaster, which currently has a deal that runs until the end of next summer’s World Cup, announced on Thursday it will screen all of England’s qualifiers and any warm-up games before the two competitions.

Under the current deal, all of England’s matches are screened on ITV but from 2018 the team’s friendly matches – which will be a part of a new UEFA Nations League – will only be available on Sky Sports.

ITV director of sport Niall Sloane said: “England on ITV has become a central feature of our sports coverage and we’re delighted to be able to continue to bring to viewers free to air, all the action from the team’s qualifying campaigns through to 2022.”

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