UEFA set to launch OTT service

08 Feb 2019

By: Sport Industry Group

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin has announced the European football governing body is planning to launch an over-the-top (OTT) streaming service within the next six months.

Ceferin confirmed at the 43rd UEFA Ordinary Congress in Rome that the OTT service will initially focus on showing youth football and women’s matches with behind-the-scenes footage and archived matches also being made available.

Speaking at the event he said “I am pleased to announce that UEFA will be launching its OTT platform in the next six months.

“We are fully aware that a revolution is underway and are in the process of agreeing historic partnerships with the world’s leading companies in this field.

"We have already started to move in this direction thanks to a sponsorship deal with the Alibaba Group.

“This partnership is more than a simple sponsorship deal. It's a first agreement that opens up new horizons, such as the creation of a centre of excellence in new football technologies or joint e-commerce projects.

UEFA secretary general Theodore Theodoridis added that the service would not feature any live Champions League football until at least 2021 due to the current cycle of TV rights. Notably, however, he did not rule out the prospect in the future, adding: "When these rights expire, we will see with the clubs what are the possibilities to have live matches"

The prospect of a UEFA OTT service first surfaced in September, when the idea was floated by UEFA Marketing Director Guy-Laurent Epstein.

The confirmation coincided with the news that the International Olympic Committee's (IOC's) OTT platform, The Olympic Channel, is to be added to Amazon Fire TV.

Photo: ©UEFA via Getty Images