News Corporation, the US-based newspaper and publishing group, acquired exclusive mobile and internet clip rights to English soccer’s top-tier Premier League in the territories of Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia from 2013-14 to 2015-16.
Additionally, News Corp signed a two-year mobile and internet rights deal in the three territories for rights to a selection of other soccer competitions, namely Germany’s Bundesliga, France’s Ligue 1, Italy’s Serie A, English soccer’s FA Cup, Capital One Cup and second-tier Championship, North America’s MLS and Brazil’s Campeonato Brasileiro.
News Corp said that the rights acquisitions would allow fans to watch highlights from, collectively, over 1,600 regular-season, play-off and championship matches via a ‘‘forthcoming web and mobile product.’’
NRK, the Norwegian public-service broadcaster, and TV2 Norway, the country’s free-to-air commercial broadcaster, jointly acquired live rights to soccer’s 2016 European Championships.
The deal was a much-needed boost to the pair after they lost out to SBS Discovery Media, the Nordic commercial broadcasting group, for the exclusive rights in Norway to European qualifying matches for both Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup.
The two broadcasters showed last year’s European Championships and have also secured rights for the next three World Cups - in 2014, 2018 and 2022.
Fifa and Uefa, the world and European governing bodies for soccer, respectively, lost their European court battle against the inclusion of the World Cup and European Championships in their entirety in the ‘listed events’ of the UK and Belgium.
The European Court of Justice said that it “dismisses the appeals brought by Fifa and Uefa in their entirety.” The two governing bodies were appealing against a 2011 ruling by the European General Court (formerly the Court of First Instance) that it is up to individual countries to decide which events should be protected from being shown exclusively on pay-television.
The ruling was expected after an ECJ advocate general advised the court in December that states can decide which events are “of major importance for their society” and therefore worthy of protection under the EU’s listed events legislation. UK listed events legislation covers all matches of both the World Cup and the European Championships, while that of Belgium covers all of the matches of the World Cup.