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Disney+ acquire UEFA Europa and Conference League rights in Sweden, Denmark

Published: Updated: 07:06, 17 Apr 2024
Disney+ finally enter market for UEFA competitions through Nordic

Disney+, the renowned streaming service owned by the Disney entertainment and media conglomerate, has recently secured rights to broadcast the next three seasons of pan-European soccer’s UEFA Europa League and Conference League matches in Denmark and Sweden. This significant development is set to reshape how sports fans in these two markets engage with their favorite soccer competitions.

The deal was announced on April 15th through a collaboration with governing body UEFA. As per this agreement, Disney+ will cover the 2024-25, 2025-26, and 2026-27 campaigns from both second-tier (Europa League) and third-tier (Conference League) club competitions.

Hans van Rijn, Country manager for the Nordics at The Walt Disney Company, said:

“We have extensive experience in sports through our sports channel ESPN and are dedicated to creating high-quality productions for the players, fans and our customers on Disney+.

“Our goal is to have the best offer for the fans and fan groups who are passionate about football, while at the same time, we want to spread the tournaments to a larger audience in Denmark and open them up to a new generation of fans and supporters.”

TV2 were only man standing in the race against Disney

Currently, these leagues are being shown in Denmark by commercial broadcaster TV2 across the 2021-24 cycle. In contrast, Swedish viewers access them via Viaplay's streaming service. However, this new arrangement signals a shift towards more globalized platforms for broadcasting these popular tournaments.

A tender for UEFA pan-European competition media rights in those markets was issued late October by UEFA's Team Marketing partner agency. The deadline for bids was November 28th - a timeframe that also applied to other Nordic countries.

While no clubs from either Denmark or Sweden remain in either league for the upcoming season as both competitions move through their quarter-final stage; FC Copenhagen did make it through to Champions League knockout stages before losing over two legs to last year’s winners England’s Manchester City.

Viaplay and TV2 still holds major portion in Danish market share

In terms of other major soccer media rights within Denmark specifically; Viaplay and TV2 share rights to broadcast domestic Superliga matches until end of season 2029-30 campaign. This indicates that while Disney+'s acquisition is significant; local broadcasters continue playing an important role within Danish football broadcasting landscape.

Disney+'s acquisition of the UEFA Europa League and Conference League rights in Sweden and Denmark marks a significant shift in the broadcasting landscape for these markets. As sports fans increasingly turn to streaming platforms for their content, this move by Disney+ could be a game-changer. It will be interesting to see how this impacts viewer engagement with these leagues over the next few seasons.

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