ITV secures England qualifying games

ITV has secured the UK broadcast rights to the England football team's qualifying matches for Uefa Euro 2016 and the 2018 Fifa World Cup, reports SportsPro.

ITV has secured the UK broadcast rights to the England football team's qualifying matches for Uefa Euro 2016 and the 2018 Fifa World Cup, reports SportsPro.

The free-to-air broadcaster will carry exclusive live coverage of all of England's home and away fixtures for both tournaments after agreeing terms with Uefa's specially created agency, CAA Eleven.

The deal also includes the rights to broadcast 20 qualifying matches featuring teams outside of the UK's 'home nations' of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on its ITV4 channel.

The deal is the first completed in one of the so-called 'Big Five' markets - England, Spain, France, Germany and Italy - since the rights to European qualifiers were taken under Uefa's central control. Last month Uefa completed a deal for the European Broadcasting Union for 30 European territories.

"Bringing viewers exclusive live coverage of each key England international match is hugely important to ITV," said ITV director of television Peter Fincham, "and means football fans will be able to watch for free England's progress both at home and abroad as they attempt to qualify for the final stages of these tournaments."

ITV has shown all England home qualifiers live since 2008, and has held the rights to home and away friendlies since 2009. It will show England's remaining qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup exclusively live this autumn.

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