The confirmation of the deal comes follows the agreement between the two leading British free-to-air broadcasters of how they will divide up live coverage of the 31 games in the tournament. The broadcasters will each show 15 matches exclusively live, and will share live coverage of the final.
With live coverage of the European Championships finals protected for free-to-air television under the UK ‘crown jewels’ broadcast law, both BBC and ITV had already agreed in principle to show the tournament. Both will carry coverage across their mobile and internet platforms, while the BBC has also secured the live radio rights.
Guy Laurent-Epstein, the marketing director of UEFA Events SA, said: “Uefa is delighted to continue its relationship with the BBC and ITV, our traditional broadcast partners for the UEFA European Championships. We look forward to working with the UK’s leading free-to-air broadcasters and are convinced that they will provide fans in the UK with an exceptional depth of coverage of the tournament across all media platforms.”
ITV controller of sport Niall Sloane said: “Major events such as the Euro 2012 championships have huge significance for our viewers and attract some of the biggest audiences on television. I’m delighted that ITV has secured an outstanding selection of games through the tournament which includes England’s opening game against France as well as a potential peak time group decider against hosts Ukraine. ITV1 will also be the home of some terrific clashes between the top teams in Europe including Spain v Ireland, Spain v Italy, Portugal v Holland and Ireland v Croatia.”
Philip Bernie, the head of TV sport for the BBC, added: “The BBC is delighted to be showing the Uefa European Football Championship, a huge football event, which, along with the London Olympics, should ensure a fantastic sporting summer for BBC viewers. We are very happy with the live matches on BBC One, as they give us a strong climax to the event, with both semi-finals, as well as England’s quarter-final if they progress. We also have some very appetising group games, including England’s second match, against Sweden, in peak time, Ireland’s final match, against Italy, and heavyweight clashes between Holland and Germany and Germany and Portugal.”
UEFA Euro 2012 will begin on Friday 8th June, with hosts Poland taking on 2004 champions Greece at the National Stadium in Warsaw. The game will be shown live in the UK by the BBC.