World soccer governing body FIFA remains in the midst of a corruption scandal and two wide-ranging criminal investigations, but UEFA, FIFA’s European branch, is still doing bumper business.
On Wednesday, the European Broadcasting Union signed a deal with UEFA for exclusive rights across 26 European countries for the 2016 European soccer championships.
Financial details of the deal weren’t disclosed, but the agreement is certain to run to eight figures. It does not include deals for Europe’s biggest territories — Germany, France, the U.K., Italy and Spain — which are negotiated separately between UEFA and individual national broadcasters.
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The EBU represents public broadcasters across Europe. The deal is cross-platform, giving networks TV, mobile, online and radio rights for the Euro 2016 tournament, which will be held June 10-July 10 in France.
The 2012 European championship, held in Poland and Ukraine, drew record audiences worldwide, with 299 million viewers around the globe watching the final match, according to official FIFA figures. The bulk of the viewers were in Europe but broadcasts of the tournament in the U.S. on ESPN were up dramatically as well, with more than 1 million viewers tuning in per match, an 82 percent jump over the 2008 event.