Stan Sport expands into football with UEFA Champions League rights

Stan Sport has added a third sport to its content slate, announcing a multi-year partnership with football’s Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to broadcast the Champions League and associated competitions.

Nine’s streaming video on demand (SVOD) service launched in February with the Super Rugby, and has since broadcast grand slam tennis tournaments Roland Garros, with Wimbledon to begin today.

Now Australian football fans wanting to stream tournaments including the UEFA Champions League and Europa League, as well as the Europa Conference League – a new third-tier European club competition, will need to sign up to Stan Sport, via a Stan subscription.

All games will be streamed on Stan, unlike the platform’s Super Rugby coverage which saw matches also go out on Nine free-to-air, but Mumbrella understands the terms of the deal mean an opportunity exists to air the final free-to-air.

Chelsea celebrate winning the 2021 Champions League / Facebook

The competitions feature Europe’s top teams from England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France and more, including teams with huge global fanbases such as Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United,  Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.

While independent start-up service Sports Flick was reportedly in the running for the UEFA deal after its broadcast of the UEFA Women’s Champions League, it was Nine that got the deal over the line.

Stan will also have the UEFA Super Cup and UEFA Youth League as part of the deal.

The Champions and Europa Leagues were most recently broadcast by Optus Sport in Australia, with ads aired sparingly and not during live play.

Stan Sport’s deal will see the leagues broadcast ad-free, with Stan also teasing that a “significant number” of matches will be available to stream in 4K Ultra HD.

Stan acting chief executive officer, Martin Kugeler said: “Today’s multi-year partnership announcement with UEFA reflects Stan’s commitment to bringing premium sports to Australian fans.

“Since Stan Sport launched in February, we have been delighted with the way Australians have taken up the service. The addition of the UEFA Club Competitions, including the UEFA Champions League, represents a unique strategic opportunity that will continue the momentum for Stan Sport and aligns directly with the Nine group sports strategy.

“Featuring the most outstanding players in the sport, the UEFA Club Competitions bring together the best clubs for more than 400 matches of world-class football.

“We can’t wait to showcase the most prestigious club football tournaments in the world and we thank UEFA for its trust in Stan to deliver their iconic football products to Australia.”

Stan Sport is available for an additional $10 a month on top of a regular $10 basic Stan subscription. Its coverage of UEFA’s competitions will begin with on 12 August with the Super Cup match between Chelsea and Villarreal.

UEFA marketing director, Guy-Laurent Epstein, said“We are delighted to be partnering with Stan in Australia. Stan has strong ambitions in the world of sport, and as a sports-loving nation, Australian football fans will benefit from Stan’s world class broadcast and production capabilities throughout the 2021-24 cycle.”

The announcement sees the football broadcasting landscape fragment further in Australia. Optus Sport still has the rights to the English Premier League, UEFA Euro 2020, The Copa America, and the J-League, and recently won the rights to broadcast the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.

Network Ten and Paramount+ signed a five-year broadcast deal to show the A-League and W-League, and more recently announced an agreement with Football Australia to show Socceroos and Matildas (as well as junior Australian games) outside of world cups through to 2024.

The A-League’s former broadcaster Foxtel will continue to show English cup competitions, announcing overnight a new deal with beIN SPORTS to continue broadcasting the Carabao Cup, EFL Championship and Scotland’s EPFL, as well as other European top-flight leagues.

It will now also broadcast European Professional Club Rugby and over 40 ATP and WTA tennis tournaments each year. Foxtel Group commercial director – sports, Rebecca McCloy said: “Together with our unrivalled coverage of the most popular Australian sports and our long-term commitment to women’s and under-represented sports, our partnership with beIN SPORTS consolidates the Foxtel Group’s position as the home of sport in Australia.”

The newest player in the market, Sports Flick, recently added the CONCACAF Gold Cup to football competitions it streams which also include the K-League, Austrian Bundesliga, Chinese Super League, Liga Primera and UAE Arabian Gulf League.

Reports suggest Stan’s new UEFA deal is worth substantially less than the $60m that Sports Flick reportedly originally submitted.

The UEFA competitions are unlikely to be the last new deal we see from Stan Sport this year, with Nine head of sport Brent Williams telling Mumbrella in May that Nine is “talking to a lot of people about potential [new] partnerships” for Stan Sport.

“I think we’re open to discussion on everything at the moment… I don’t think anything is off the table,” he said.


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