The disruption of traditional football coverage takes another step. European football’s administrative body, the UEFA, will launch an own OTT streaming service over the next six months. That was confirmed by Aleksander Čeferin, rigth after his re-election as the body’s president. But the development won’t stop there. Partnerships with big companies are in the pipeline, yet, the European football shall stand for unity.
UEFA has big plans: An OTT platform to start with
There’s always something to talk about with the UEFA involved. A few days back, Aleksander Čeferin has been unanimously re-elected UEFA president until 2023. The body’s strategy circles around four pillars:
- keeping football first
- building trust
- ensuring competitiveness
- increasing prosperity
Another, yet rather dubios, person involved in the UEFA’s fate is Nasser Al-Khelaifi, debatable president of PSG. He is now the ECA representative of the UEFA Executive Committee.
I look forward to working alongside members of the UEFA Executive Committee to enhance and develop European football, whilst ensuring that the interests of clubs, are represented in the decision making process,
he said. Some will surely doubt that he is going to support really every club’s desires.
However, the UEFA wants to make European football more accessible via digital platforms to anyone – and is therefore planning to launch their own OTT service.
This is why 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 under way, 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,
said Čeferin following his re-election. While the OTT platform will start showing women’s and youth games first – since rights for the European competitions like the Champions League are allocated for another few years –, partnerships with big companies like Alibaba will only help grow the brand UEFA. How that helps a “society racked with doubt“, as Čeferin calls it, remains to be seen. There might surely be hope, that the UEFA will make it easier to access games under their patronage and provide fans with a great and holistic digital experience in the future. Yet, the UEFA earn more money every single season – and deals with the likes of Alibaba will surely accelerate the process. That money mainly returns to those participating in the Champions League and Europa League: clubs, that are quite rich anyway. And with Čeferin and Al-Khelaifi on the board, the thought of a more economic growth management is never far away. Maybe, beside all this talk of development in the football ecosystem, the UEFA should harden their stance on the Financial Fairplay first.