Fox Sports Media Group has scored a three-year extension for the UEFA Champions League in the U.S. through the 2015 tournament.
The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, ensures coverage of the tournament, which pits the top professional club teams across Europe, on Fox Sports, Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Deportes, Fox Sports Net owned-and-affiliated regional sports network and FX. Moreover, it encompasses online video streaming on Foxsoccer.tv.
The agreement comes as Fox Sports is in the second of a three-year Champions League rights pact, which, along with the now defunct Setanta Sports USA, wrested away from longtime holder ESPN in 2009. Fox's new deal covers the 2012-13, 2013-2014 and 2014-15 tournaments.
Once again, the final match will air on Fox Broadcasting, reaching 115 million households, with the new deal pushing two of the four semifinal contests to FX, which counts some 98 million subscribers. Moreover, FSN, which under the current pact offers only Tuesday afternoon windows, will televise 28 live contests on Tuesday and Wednesday match days.
As the primary broadcast outlet for the UEFA Champions League in the U.S., Fox Soccer Channel will continue to deliver 110 live and delayed UEFA Champions League matches per season to its nearly 40 million subscribers. Premium service Fox Soccer Plus carries 94 live and delayed match telecasts annually, and like FSC's, its Champions League match-day coverage features eight-to-10 hour blocks of uninterrupted coverage.
For its part, Fox Deportes will continue to televise 110 live and delayed match telecasts per season. An additional 250 hours of UEFA Champions League encore coverage per season is planned by the nation's leader in Spanish-language sports media.
Fox's new media rights play extends to the Internet via premium broadband portal Foxsoccer.tv, as well mobile devices through Fox Soccer's iPhone app. FOXsoccer.com and FOXdeportes.com continue to offer exclusive video highlights of all matches plus live, interactive Match Trax featuring in-game stats, commentary and more.
"The foundation of FOX Sports' success has always been to showcase the best sports events possible," said David Hill, Fox Sports Media Group Chairman and CEO, in a statement. "Our enhanced commitment to the UEFA Champions League for three additional seasons means that the Fox Sports Media Group remains America's home for the absolute best in international club soccer."
Noted Guy Laurent Epstein, head of media rights for UEFA: "Ever since the first deal for the current 2009-2012 rights cycle, Fox Sports have impressed us with their commitment to prioritise the UEFA Champions League in their scheduling. Showing the final on Fox's over-the-air affiliates marks a huge turning point in the American psyche towards football, continuing in this vein for the 2012-15 rights cycle reflects Fox's ongoing dedication to the best of European football."
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