European championship and national team matches move to Viaplay platform
Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group) and European football's governing body UEFA have started a long-term cooperation period, which will see football European championship and Estonian national team matches move from ERR to Viaplay's streaming platform.
NENT Group announced that Baltic football fans can watch the matches of at least 60 national teams and more than 1,200 matches across Europe. National team broadcasts will have Estonian-language comments and matches will be analyzed in studio, similar to ERR's coverage.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be the final event on ERR's channels until at least 2028 with two European championships in that time, which will be broadcast on Viaplay. The platform will also carry UEFA Nations League matches in 2022, 2024 and 2026 and finals in 2023, 2025 and 2027. Estonian football fans can watch Estonian national team matches, both home and away, on the new platform.
NENT Group president and CEO Andres Jensen said they continue investing in the most attractive sports of the market. "It is a prideful and joyful feeling to say that Viaplay will become the home of the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian national teams until 2028. It is an honor to get these rights and football fans can expect world-class broadcasts with their national teams in the focus," Jensen said.
Streaming platform Viaplay has been available in Estonia from March 9 and already has the broadcast rights for the Champions League, Europa League, Conference League, Bundesliga, Formula-1 and NHL. The platform is also looking to add the English Premier League in 2022.
Football association president: National team matches should remain public broadcasts
Estonian Football Association president Aivar Pohlak told ERR it is important for national team matches to be broadcast for everyone. "We consider Estonian football national team matches an important part of national culture and our position is and will remain - these events must be on TV screens nationwide," Pohlak said. "It is the same with major tournaments, like the Euro 2020 broadcasts this summer, which connected much of the Estonian people and population. We are disappointed it will not be like this from 2023."
Pohlak said ERR has done a good job broadcasting major tournaments and the situation with Viaplay's broadcasts and commentators will be complicated and different.
ERR's sports head Rivo Saarna confirmed that ERR's football broadcasts will continue in full for the next year - the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be shown in full, as will matches of the Estonian top-flight Premium league.
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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste