ITV have decided to snap up the rights for England’s first and third group matches at next summer’s European Championships in Poland and Ukraine, but have refused to shell out for their potential Quarter-final and Semi-final, leaving BBC with exclusive rights to England’s games should they make it through to the knock-out phases.
On the basis of recent form, ITV’s stance would appear to be a safe one, especially as Capello’s men will be without Wayne Rooney for the first two matches. Yet the Beeb, who don’t need to guarantee matches to fill advertising revenue quotas, are in a better position to gamble on England making it through the group.
As it stands, ITV will be screening England’s first match against France and their potentially crucial final group match against Ukraine. England’s second match against Sweden will be shown on BBC. Both broadcasters have rights to the final on 1st July.
Philip Bernie, BBC head of TV sport, said “We are very happy with the live matches on BBC1, as they give us a strong climax to the event, with both semi-finals, as well as England’s quarter-final if they progress.”
Niall Sloane, ITV controller of sport, said “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. Major events such as the Euro 2012 Championships have huge significance for our viewers and attract some of the biggest audiences on television.”