UEFA Unveils New Streaming Service
UEFA News recently announced plans to launch an international Over The Top (OTT) streaming platform for football lovers. The new platform is set to shake up the way football fans view sport. The platform has been provisionally named as UEFA TV and will be initially available outside of Europe and North America. The UEFA Champions League may be available to European and North American viewers after existing contracts with broadcasters expire. UEFA is also known as the Union of European Football Associations and is the administrative body for football in Europe. It is one of the six FIFA continental confederations. Some member states are located in Asia despite its European focus.
More services to be launched in the future?
Experts now predict other sport governing bodies will launch their own streaming services in the future. It’s likely that minor UEFA competitions will be available at first with a new continental tournament set to be launched in 2021, alongside the UEFA Europa League and Super Cup tournaments. UEFA’s new platform is set to be launched in time for the new football season.
The growth of streaming
Streaming services allow device users to enjoy audio and video from wherever they are as long as they have an internet connection and the content is available to their territories. Some streaming services can be consumed for free, though many come with ad-free premium packages. Popular video streaming services include BBC iPlayer, DAZN, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Now TV and the sports services ESPN+ and the BT Sport app.
The music world has a range of high-profile streaming services, such as Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Amazon Prime Music and Deezer. One of the key benefits for the entertainment industry is that legal streaming services have helped slow down piracy, a highly expensive problem for media giants in the 2000s.
Mining the UEFA archive
UEFA’s new service aims to offer viewers greater access to live and on-demand football content from a range of competitions. The German Bundesliga is set to be the first league to supply content to UEFA.tv. The streaming service is also due to offer original programming based on six decades of the European football archive. Youth, women’s and futsal UEFA competitions are to receive wider coverage thanks to the service, which will also offer interviews and behind-the-scenes content.
Expanding global reach
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin said the platform would make football and UEFA competitions more accessible to football lovers across the world. It’s said that the service will be particularly appealing to younger football fans, many of which have grown up with streaming and downloading.
The German Bundesliga content will be available to viewers in the UK as well as other European countries, Africa and the Middle East from the outset. The platform has not been designed to compete with TV channels and will adopt a complementary approach.
The Premier League recently took high court action to block illegal streaming so it will be interesting to see how the UK market responds to UEFA’s new service. Watch this space!