Viewers in Serbia can watch Serbian national football team qualifications for the European Championship on NOVA S TV (formerly Top Kanal) via cable or satellite. We (United Media) bought the rights to EURO 2020 qualifiers in 2017 for all the countries in the region because we realized the importance of this event.
We felt it appropriate to allow all viewers in Serbia an opportunity to watch the national team games on one of the TV stations with a national frequency and we offered the broadcast rights in talks with the Radio TV Serbia (RTS), Antena Group as the owner of Prva and O2 TV stations at the time as well as TV Pink.
Following long negotiations, we failed to reach an agreement. We gave all the details of the negotiations to UEFA, asked for and were given their permission to broadcast games on NOVA S TV.
United Media’s offer to all TV stations in Serbia was at the level of the price already paid by public service broadcasters in the region such as the Slovenian national TV paid for games of its national team.
The RTS management’s claim on Friday that terrestrial broadcast rights for the games have not been offered to any TV are not true. United Media has evidence in the form of detailed documents about all meetings and offers we made and we will not allow anyone, not even the public service broadcasters, to use deception to trick viewers in Serbia. Their explanation to the Serbian public is at the very least cynical, especially following the decision by the RTS and its partner Telekom Serbia to ban United Group from distributing RTS programmes outside the country, quoting “commercial” conditions. Now that they have remembered that the qualifications are set to begin, they want something else and are forgetting that the commercial competition for the TV rights to Serbian national team games is over.
United Group is trying to bring top quality programs to viewers using the SBB, Total TV and EON TV platforms, especially national team games.
Viewers can watch the first Serbian national team EURO 2020 qualifier against Portugal on NOVA S TV on Monday, March 25 at 08:45 pm. We will put prominent football experts on the air from a studion at 07:35 pm. We believe that will please all viewers in Serbia.
NOVA S is part of United Media which includes N1 TV.
RTS: Terrestrial rights not offered to any national TV
The Radio TV Serbia (RTS) said earlier on Friday that the terrestrial rights to EURO 2020 qualifiers were not offered to any national TV and that the rights to air the most important sports events are especially important can only be realized by a TV with national coverage.
The Serbian public service broadcaster feels that viewers are justifiably dissatisfied and that measures have to be taken to implement the regulations on the TV rights market, an RTS statement said.