BBC Northern Ireland will broadcast live coverage - on TV, radio and online – of Northern Ireland’s home international friendly matches in the run-up to next year’s European Championship finals.
The deal with the Irish Football Association means fans will get the full live experience of the home fixtures from local BBC commentators and pundits as momentum builds to the Euros in France next summer.
It’s the first time the Northern Ireland team have qualified for the tournament after finishing top of their group in an exciting end to the qualifying campaign in October.
BBC Sport NI will share all the drama with fans as Michael O’Neill’s men prepare for their biggest challenge yet. And all the action begins next Friday 13 November with live coverage of the home friendly with Latvia.
Alongside TV coverage, the matches will also be live on BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Online.
Shane Glynn, Managing Editor of BBC NI Productions said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have agreed this deal with the IFA. When qualification for the finals of the Euros was secured with the stunning win against Greece last month, it felt like a once in a generation moment.
“The fans took to the streets in celebration, and there will be huge interest in these matches as Northern Ireland build towards France 2016.”
“ I’m delighted that we will be able to bring fans live coverage across TV, radio and online of all the home matches between now and next summer. And of course every game of the Euros themselves will be broadcast live across the BBC and ITV.”
As Northern Ireland embark on their first major championships since the 1986 World Cup, BBC Sport NI will be following the team in France on TV, radio and online with all the build-up to the big games, in-depth features and analysis, and interviews with the players.
Patrick Nelson, Chief Executive of the Irish Football Association, said:
“We are extremely pleased to have secured this deal with the BBC. The game against Latvia next week and the other international friendlies being lined up prior to the UEFA EURO 2016 finals next summer will be extremely important as Michael O’Neill and his team build on the momentum from the successful qualifying campaign - and we are delighted the BBC will be broadcasting those games live.”
As well as next Friday’s game, Northern Ireland will play friendlies against as yet undecided opponents in March and May 2016.