BBC adds Copa America to 2021 live international soccer offering
The BBC, the UK’s public-service broadcaster, has acquired live rights to every game from the Copa America, the South American national teams soccer tournament, this year.
The Copa America will be shown at the same time as the men's Uefa European Championships, which the BBC is sharing with commercial network ITV.
The BBC will show all 28 games from the 10-team Copa America, which begins on 13 June and runs to 10 July, and is being co-hosted by Colombia and Argentina.
Euro 2020, to be held across Europe, with the semi-finals and final in London, is scheduled for 11 June to 11 July.
The BBC will cover all Copa America games live on its iPlayer online streaming service, and also on the BBC Sport website and mobile app, while the Euros feature on the main BBC1 and BBC2 channels.
Both tournaments were meant to take place last summer, only for the onset of the coronavirus pandemic to cause a one-year postponement.
Dentsu, the Japanese advertising giant, holds exclusive global consulting and commercial sales rights to the Copa America in a 10-year deal with Conmebol, the South American soccer confederation, running to 2028.
English-based players expected to be involved in the Copa America include Manchester United’s Edinson Cavani of Uruguay and Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus and Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino, both of Brazil.
The BBC has been increasingly engaging with South American soccer in recent times, showing the latter stages of the 2020 Copa Libertadores, the continent's top clubs competition, earlier this year.
It also broadcast all matches from this year’s Club World Cup, which took place in February, on its Red Button platform and through its website, with Libertadores champions Palmeiras the South American representative.
The BBC's main soccer property is highlights of England's Premier League, which it is set to retain through 2025 after the league this week reached agreement to extend its existing UK rights deals for a further three years.
The broadcaster has also been showing selected live Premier League games while spectators have been largely excluded from stadiums because of coronavirus restrictions.