Fox International Channels Acquires NFL Rights for Parts of Europe

Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch, who will be asked to return for further questions after last week's emergence of secretly recorded comments he made about bribes in the British newspaper industry and the phone-hacking probes, recently split his media empire into the 21st Century Fox entertainment company and the publishing firm News Corp.

The arm of Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox signs a two-year deal that allows it to carry matches, including the Super Bowl, starting with the fall season.

LONDON – Fox International Channels, a unit of Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, has acquired NFL TV rights for parts of Europe, the company said on Wednesday.

It said it has signed a two-year deal with NFL International starting with the fall season, but didn't provide financial details.

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Under the arrangement, some of FIC's channels and services in Europe will air one NFL game per match window in English. The company didn't detail how many networks or countries would get the NFL games, but said they would air on its Fox Sports channels, Fox Sports-branded programming blocks and other Fox Sports services.

"NFL fans in Europe will be able to watch on FIC Sunday games, Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football, Thursday Night Football and all three U.S. Thanksgiving Day games in English," the company said. "FIC will also broadcast all NFL postseason games in English, including the Super Bowl."

The deal also gives FIC access to NFL shows, such as NFL Game Day, NFL Extra, Road to Playoffs and Road to Super Bowl, as well as select programing from the NFL Network.

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FIC has expanded into sports globally as of late. In Europe, for example, Fox Sports recently launched in the Netherlands and Italy. It also has a presence in Turkey and Cyprus.

"21st Century Fox has a long-standing relationship with the NFL in the U.S., and it has been a fundamental part of the Fox network and Fox Sports brand there," said Jesus Perezagua, president of FIC Europe and Africa. "As we roll out our Fox Sports brand across Europe, we are excited to make the NFL one of our key content partners, and we are committed to deliver on our promise of bringing the most passionate sports in the world to some of the most passionate sports fans in the world.”

Added Julie Moeller, NFL vp international media business development: "We have partnered with Fox in many areas of the world and are pleased to extend this to Europe to enhance the content offering to our fans in that region."

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