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UEFA EURO 2020 reaches global audience of 5.2 billion

Euro 2020

UEFA have announced that the recent EURO 2020 tournament was a landmark global success with over 5.2 billion people tuning in from continents across the world.

As the first major sporting event to be staged since the COVID-19 pandemic put the world in its entirety on hold, the popularity of UEFA EURO 2020 was a reflection that the power of football has in uniting people.

The hugely successful tournament – which saw Italy beat England in penalties in the final – left its mark in viewership history, ranking amongst the most viewed moments of all time and breaking live streaming records along the way.

The Final was watched by 328 million fans, on par with the record set in 2016. The match between Italy and England at Wembley Stadium was the most-watched TV event in the United Kingdom in 24 years and in Italy since 2012. The match also set all-time streaming records for any type of programming in both countries.

“The incredible TV audience figures show the massive appeal that EURO has, not only in Europe but worldwide,” UEFA marketing director Guy-Laurent Epstein said.

“The tournament has a global audience which continues to grow, in particular in North America and Asia, where the fan base following EURO keeps expanding.

“We also note that there is an ever-increasing number of fans accessing matches through streaming services.”

On average each live match was watched by over 100 million viewers with impressive increases in viewership in global markets such as China, where a growth rate of 43% was registered compared to 2016, with a cumulative audience of 352 million.

The event saw more Chinese fans accessing matches through streaming services than through traditional TV. In the USA, audiences grew by 32% with a cumulative TV audience of 87 million. India registered a growth rate of 229%, and a cumulative audience of 107 million.

On social media, there were 7.5 billion interactions and views of which two billion were generated by official UEFA accounts, making it the most engaged EURO ever.

“Digitally, we have seen incredible engagement during the tournament, and we are extremely satisfied with the performance of our own UEFA platforms,” Epstein added.

“The UEFA.com website and application has seen a 250% increase in traffic compared to 2016. It shows that our content offer has been extremely well received by fans and that our digital set-up is amazing.”

Acun Medya Group secures Hull City takeover

EFL Championship side Hull City AFC has been purchased by Turkish production company Acun Medya Group, headed by Acun Ilicali.

EFL Championship side Hull City AFC has been purchased by Turkish production company Acun Medya Group, for a fee in the reported region of $37 million AUD.

Acun Ilicali, a 52-year-old businessman and owner of Acun Medya Group, was introduced to fans at the MKM Stadium prior to the club’s 2-0 win at home over Blackburn Rovers.

The takeover brings the controversial ownership of the Allam family to an end, much to the delight of fans after a roller coaster 11 years in charge.

Despite overseeing two promotions to the Premier League, an FA Cup Final and Hull’s first-ever foray into a European competition through the UEFA Europa League in 2014, the Allam family became increasingly unpopular with the fans.

The unpopularity of the Allam family is due to many different reasons, however it all started when the family proposed a name change to ‘Hull Tigers’ back in 2013. The move was ultimately blocked by authorities a year later, which frustrated the Allams and they then put the club up for sale, straining the relationship with fans and seeing a decline in attendances at home fixtures.

The new ownership will look to win back supporters and turn the negative tide.

Acun Medya Group Owner, Acun Ilicali:

“I am happy that I have fulfilled one of my biggest dreams. We are starting a beautiful journey with Hull City. We have many big dreams and goals to achieve together with our fans,” he said.

Outgoing Vice-Chairman Ehab Allam:

“During our tenure, we have worked hard to create a sustainable model and successful academy set-up, giving the club the foundations it needs for the future,” he said.

“There have been lots of ups and downs over the last 11 years or so, but we will take some very fond memories with us… We have taken a very business-led approach to running the club and I truly hope Acun can rebuild the relationship with the fanbase and also bring back the success on the pitch that fans crave and deserve.”

Hertha Berlin pushing hard for stadium upgrade

Top-flight German football club Hertha Berlin has reiterated its intention to develop a new stadium nearby to the Olympiastadion.

Top-flight German football club Hertha Berlin has reiterated its intention to develop a new stadium nearby to its current home, the Olympiastadion, releasing fresh renderings of its vision for such a project.

The club has been attempting to progress plans to develop a new home for several years and in February 2020 stated that the OlympiaPark would be the preferred location.

In November 2018, Hertha confirmed it was targeting an opening date in July 2025 for a new-look Olympiastadion, with preference to be building a completely new stadium rather than renovating the current one.

The current Olympiastadion has been home to Hertha Berlin for almost 60 years, and has a capacity of around 74,000. However, the club is seeking a more intimate stadium for its fans, as well as the inclusion of an athletics track.

Hertha’s former stadium commissioner, Klaus Teichert, withdrew an application for a decision to be made on the location for a new stadium, with Brandenburg also put forward as a potential location.

Hertha Berlin Chief Financial Officer, Ingo Schiller:

“We have entered into talks with the new government and are working hard to set the course for our new stadium in 2022,” he said.

“The stadium is the club’s most important project, especially in terms of the economic situation.”

There is a lot of political support necessary for the project to get approved, as the potential worksite currently includes residential apartments, a big reason for negotiations coming to a stall at times.

A resident spoke to local radio station rbb24:

“You talk about ir, but not with us. We are still not prepared to sell our apartments in Sportforumstraße or to negotiate about them,” they said.

“It is very unfortunate that our residents in Sportforumstraße are once again unsettled by this uncoordinated approach.”

Hertha Berlin and backers of the new stadium have been in negotiation with Berlin’s sports senator, Iris Spranger, with talks to continue over the next month.

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