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Friday, April 23, 2021

Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News to air Europa League soccer

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If you love to watch the world’s best soccer players perform, you might be in luck.

Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News plans to broadcast the Europa League, a squad competition for European footballers, this season, the broadcaster said in a statement this week. It had previously broadcast the soccer competition and will soon broadcast the UEFA Cup, a bigger club competition in UEFA’s Champions League Champions League.

The broadcasting arrangement could mean two fewer English Premier League matches on Sky every season. Last season, the live broadcast of the Europa League across nine of Sky’s main channels averaged 868,000 viewers.

The channel’s audience figures from the UEFA Cup and Europa League came in at 654,000 and 525,000, respectively. Fox, which owns 51 percent of Sky, is interested in buying the rest of the company.

“We’re delighted to announce our first foray into the UEFA Europa League,” said Sky News Editor Claire Enders. “Our ambition is to lead in quality news, whether it’s highlights from across Europe or live interviews with some of the world’s best players.

“This is a powerful brand for us to be pioneering on and we want to make sure that we use it to the full.”

Last season, Sky’s viewership figures for those two competitions were much higher. Nearly 1.4 million viewers tuned in to watch the UEFA Cup on Sky Sports 1, while nearly 1.7 million viewers watched the Europa League on Sky Sports 1.

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