The Indian telecast of the UEFA Euro tournament has been switching channels for the last few editions. The new broadcaster of the tournament (2016 edition) is Sony Six, the recently launched sports channel from Multi Screen Media. It is learnt that a few other sports channels also pitched in for the broadcast rights.
The broadcast rights stood with ESPN-STAR Sports for 2004 and 2008 editions; UEFA Euro 2012 was telecast on Neo Prime and simultaneous matches were being telecast on Neo Sports.
Considering the increasing popularity of football in the country, this is the first grand event acquired by the newbie in the sports genre. One of European football's premier international competitions, the UEFA Euro 2016 will be Sony Six's first entry into international football. Having broadcast 2014 FIFA WC Qualifiers, this will be the first successful acquisition of a major professional football competition by the channel.
Man Jit Singh, CEO, MSM, says, "Football has grown immensely in India over the past few years and has found great interest amongst the youth. With the successful acquisition of the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament broadcasting rights, we look forward to attracting viewership to Sony Six by leveraging on the growing popularity of European football in the country."
N P Singh, COO, MSM, says, "As a broadcaster, we are always in pursuit of the best of international sport and through our latest acquisition, we will take the fans closer to the high impact action that the UEFA Euro 2016 promises to deliver."
UEFA Euro is arguably the second biggest football tournament, after the FIFA World Cup.
Guy-Laurent Epstein, marketing director, UEFA, says, "UEFA believes that the channel and its commitment to high quality programming and sport is an excellent home for UEFA's flagship national team competition."
For the record, the 2016 UEFA European Football Championship, also referred to as UEFA Euro 2016, will be the 15th European championship for national football teams organised by UEFA. This time, it will be held in France with provisional dates between June, 10, 2016 and July, 10, 2016. For the first time in the tournament's history, the 2016 finals will be a 24-team tournament, having been expanded from the 16-team format used since 1996.
Sony Six owns broadcast rights of properties such as The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and the NBA. It also simulcasts IPL Season 6 along with its sibling channel, SET Max.