ITV nets exclusive Uefa Cup rights

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ITV has won exclusive rights to broadcast live Uefa Cup matches in the UK for the next three seasons.

The new agreement features exclusive rights to the Uefa Cup's quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final itself, as well as August's Super Cup, which is contested every year between the winners of the Champions League and the Uefa Cup.

Games will be shown on both ITV's flagship channel, ITV1, and the network's male-centric digital channel, ITV4, which launched last year with live Champions League coverage. Both channels showed games from the Uefa Cup last season, with the final between Middlesbrough and Seville attracting 7.7m viewers to ITV1.

However, this latest deal will be the first time that ITV has held exclusive rights to the latter stages of the tournament.

The broadcaster's director of television, Simon Shaps, said: "This is exactly the sort of top-flight event that ITV is committed to bringing to the network. [The Uefa Cup] performed strongly for us last season, and in recent weeks we have seen the power of live football in uniting audiences in a way that very few events still can. ITV is the perfect home for a tournament of this size and scale".

In other news relating to televised football, cable provider ntl is considering legal action against the FA Premier League over the way rights to live games were sold to broadcast rivals BSkyB and Setanta Sports earlier this year.

Lovelace Consulting  |  29.06.2006

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