Channel 4 outbids BBC Sport for Women's Euros 2017
The broadcaster will show all England and Scotland matches under the terms of the deal, which will see live international football played on the channel for the first time.Coverage will include the two home nations facing each other in their opening match on 19 July next year.
England and Scotland will also face Spain and Portugal in Group D at the tournament, which is being held in Holland. The move represents a coup for Channel 4 and a blow for BBC Sport, which secured the rights to show every match of the Women’s World Cup in Canada last year.
The Corporation also showed the 2013 Women's Euros in Sweden and a BBC spokeswoman confirmed it was outbid by Channel 4 for the rights to the 2017 tournament.
“We’re disappointed not to have retained the rights to the Women’s Euros despite our unparalleled support for the game, the recent qualification matches and past tournaments,” she said.
“We’re proud of our contribution to the growth of women’s football in the UK, highlighted by the competitiveness for these rights, and we’re pleased that the matches will remain free to air. The BBC’s commitment to women’s football remains incredibly strong with our extensive coverage of the Women’s Super League and FA Cup across TV, radio and online platforms. We wish the tournament well.”
Stephen Lyle, Channel 4’s commissioning editor for sport, said: “We’re thrilled to have secured the 2017 UEFA Women’s Euros on Channel 4. With Scotland there for the first time and England’s Lionesses at the top of their game, I believe this tournament is going to be one of the sporting highlights of the summer.”
Channel 4 has a minor association with football as the home of Serie A coverage, but the broadcaster has never shown an international tournament before. The Women’s Euros open with the host nation taking on Norway on 16 July.
The news was announced at Channel 4’s “Upfronts” event where the broadcaster presents its upcoming programming to advertisers.