ITV SportITV will exclusively show live coverage of all England’s international football matches at home and abroad for the Euro 2016 and 2018 World Cup qualifying competitions.

The agreement, announced today, continues and expands the channel’s commitment to showing live, free-to-air coverage of the England football team. It is the first time in recent years a single broadcaster will show all of England’s qualifying games for consecutive major tournaments.

ITV has held the rights to show exclusively all England’s home games since 2008 as well as, since 2009, the team’s friendly matches both at home and away. Today’s deal also includes the rights to broadcast 20 non-home nation qualifying games for ITV4.

Peter Fincham, ITV Director of Television, said: “Bringing viewers exclusive live coverage of each key England international match is hugely important to ITV 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.”

Live football is an important part of ITV’s schedule, both on the main channel and on ITV4. ITV currently has exclusive rights to show live England’s remaining qualifying matches for the 2014 World Cup, the FA Cup and is the exclusive free to air broadcaster for the Champions League in the UK.

As for Sky Sports the new agreement will see the their output continue with home and away matches for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland from 2014 to 2017. The deal also sees the satellite company hold the broadcast rights to highlights of every England qualifying match for both tournaments.

Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis said: “Both the UEFA European Championship and FIFA World Cup are football’s most important international tournaments and this deal offers Sky Sports viewers the complete qualification story.”

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