European football’s governing body UEFA will introduce an Internet-based streaming service that will give people access to a ‘gold mine’ of archive footage, an official said.
UEFA’s marketing official Guy-Laurent Epstein told Reuters that the football body it would launch an Over The Top (OTT) platform dubbed UEFA.tv, which would also allow it to show live coverage of UEFA youth, women’s, and futsal competitions.
Futsal (also known as fútsal or footsal) is a variant of association football played on a hard court, smaller than a football pitch, and mainly indoors.
It is played between two teams of five players each, one of whom is the goalkeeper.
He said: “We have more than 60 years of archives of UEFA competitions digitalised and, I believe, we are sitting on gold.
“It is not very well exploited so far … but now we will develop original programmes based on our archive to populate our platforms and I think there is really great stuff.”
Epstein said that the content included footage from European championship finals going back to the first edition in 1960 as well as the early days of the old European Cup.
“We have a lot of content that precedes modern era.
“There is so much great stuff, there are great football histories,” he said.
He added that it was the first football governing body to set up an OTT — the streaming of television content via the Internet.
The official further said that users would have to register but the content would be free.
According to him, UEFA currently has 20 million subscribers to its digital platforms.
“We are confident we will create a bigger engagement with fans, enhancing the value of our community of fans,” he said.
Epstein said the platform would allow UEFA to show stories from the sidelines of its showpiece Champions League competition, provided they did not clash with rights holders.
“We can tell the behind-the-scene stories. … we will always protect the windows of our live broadcasters but we have additional stories to tell,” Epstein added.
The football governing body said in a statement that it had also entered into an agreement with the Bundesliga to provide a separate channel of German league content, including Monday highlights of weekend matches.
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