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March 13, 2008

Jostling for position to broadcast the Champions League


by Alan Harten
Jostling for position to broadcast the Champions League

The rolling hills of Cheltenham are playing host to ongoing negotiations for perhaps the biggest trophy in UK sport. All the major broadcasting companies have sent executives to attend meetings and work out strategies. All aimed at creating bids in this first round of the tendering process for rights to broadcast footballs Champions League.

Details of the tender were announced last month, and bids in the first round of negotiations about to become due.

At the moment, both Sky and ITV, jointly own the rights to broadcast matches until July 2009. It is yet to be decided, which British broadcaster will be granted rights to UAFA’s major club football tournament.

Cheltenham was apparently chosen for negotiations as television executives believe it is a good location for discussion at the held in a discreet environment. Unfortunately, nobody seems to have told that to the army of TV crews and news reporters camped outside the venue.

The BBC is in attendance with a significant number of executives in place, but has been very secretive over its intentions regarding the Champions League bid.

The main problem for the the BBC surrounds, what are known as “bumper break” ads that are awarded to the tournaments major sponsors. Of course, the BBC does not have advertising slots in their programming.

One surprise bidder expected to make try for the prize is Five, which as recently returned into profit. Its parent, German company, RTL is willing to fund this big-ticket item.

Five showed its willingness to bid on football franchises after just missing out on his bid for the Premier League live.

Story link: Jostling for position to broadcast the Champions League


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