Euro 2012: ITV refuses to gamble on England’s progress

BBC secures quarter- and semi-final matches in next year's European football tournament

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Euro 2012: ITV refuses to gamble on England’s progress
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Radio staff

ITV will show England’s first and final group stage matches of Euro 2012, against France and Ukraine, while the BBC has secured exclusive rights to England’s quarter-final and semi-final matches, should they progress that far.

The agreement between the channels sees ITV choosing England’s opening and, potentially crucial, final games of the pool stages - with the guaranteed viewers and ad revenue they will bring - while the BBC will show the second group game against Sweden.

But should England progress to the knock-out stages, the BBC could come up trumps. It has the choice of the first and fourth quarter-finals - one of which will feature England if they do qualify - plus exclusive rights to both semi-finals. Both broadcasters will show the final on 1 July.

Meanwhile, ITV’s strategy sees it also opting for non-England matches likely to pull in large audiences. It will show Spain v Italy, Holland v Portugal and Ireland’s games against Spain and Croatia.

The BBC will air Ireland’s group game against Italy, plus Holland v Germany and Germany v Portugal.

Philip Bernie, BBC head of TV sport, said "We are very happy with the live matches on BBC1, as they give us a strong climax to the event, with both semi-finals, as well as England's quarter-final if they progress."

Niall Sloane, ITV controller of sport, said “I'm delighted that ITV has secured an outstanding selection of games through the tournament, which includes England's opening game against France as well as a potential peak time group decider against hosts Ukraine.

"Major events such as the Euro 2012 Championships have huge significance for our viewers and attract some of the biggest audiences on television."

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