Sony Pictures Sports Networks India (SPSN) will hold exclusive rights to the UEFA competitions for the next three seasons till 2023-24 in the sub-continent, including India, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan.
Sony renewed its contract with UEFA for the 2018-21 cycle at a lower price due to the lack of interest from other networks. This time around, the renewal of the rights negotiation process with Sony could not yield desired results, as UEFA decided to go to the market and initiated the tender process. This led to fierce competition between Sony, Viacom 18, Euro Sports (Discovery) and FanCode. UEFA had extended the first-round bid deadline, which was originally set at March 16, 10 am (CET) to April 6, 10 am (CET).
Sony calls itself the ‘home of football’ as it owns rights to a range of high-quality football such as Euros, champions league, Europa League, Serie A and has also made its latest edition to that portfolio with the likes of the Japanese J-League. However, Sony gave up the rights to La Liga in 2018 as it was looking to bring more cricket under its belt after the big blow of losing the IPL to Star earlier that year. The rights were taken by Facebook, and have since moved to Viacom 18. In a first for the sporting world in India, the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona will be displayed on Viacom 18’s youth entertainment channel MTV.
The UEFA Rights package for the Indian Sub-Continent includes the rights to top-tier UEFA Champions League (and UEFA Super Cup) and the Europa League and Europa Conference League with rights to the second-tier and new third-tier competition packaged together. These competitions will continue to feature some of Europe’s finest across all competitions. Sony’s mid-week schedule will also be bolstered by the new third tier Conference League.