Five wins first pick of Uefa Cup games and exclusive final

LONDON - Five has secured first choice of Uefa Cup matches, including exclusive rights to the final, for the next three seasons.

ITV4 and Setanta Sports 1 and 2 will also broadcast live matches and highlights programmes.

The new UK rights deal was negotiated by the broadcasters with Team Marketing, Uefa's agent for the broadcast rights to the Champions League.

This was a change from previous rights deals, which were negotiated by the participating clubs themselves.

The competition format has been restructured, with a group stage featuring 12 groups of four teams. There are 205 matches a season and most will be played on Thursday nights.

Each broadcaster is allowed to exploit their rights across the internet and mobile platforms.

Five is guaranteed to screen 15 games a year over the next three seasons.

Robert Charles, controller of sport at Five, said: "Five has been the place to see the Uefa Cup, with more than 100 games shown over the past 11 years."

Setanta's package of rights consists of 33 games a season, including 17 from the group stages, six from the rounds of 32 and 16, two quarter-finals and one semi-final.

English clubs set to participate in this season's Uefa Cup include Tottenham Hotspur, Portsmouth, Everton and Manchester City.

ITV1 showed last season's Uefa Cup final, which Rangers lost 2-0 to Russian side Zenit St Petersburg. It netted 5.9m viewers.

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