EBU article on UEFA EURO 2024 says GPB played a crucial role in documenting football team's achievement 
EBU article on UEFA EURO 2024 says GPB played a crucial role in documenting football team's achievement 

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) published an article on UEFA EURO 2024, which says that the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) “played a crucial role” in documenting the achievement of the Georgian national football team.

The article says that for the first time in history, Georgia has qualified for the Championships and the GPB is “now poised to bring every thrilling moment to fans” when the tournament kicks off on 14 June.

“GPB has followed this journey every step of the way, from early qualifiers to the nail-biting playoff victory against Greece, providing live broadcasts, in-depth analysis, and special features. On 26 March, the nation was glued to their screens for the decisive qualifying match, which averaged 1,061,767 viewers per minute, capturing 60% of the market share.

The excitement and unity created by our journey to the European Championship were unparalleled. This historic win shattered viewership records, marking an unprecedented moment for our public service broadcaster,” said Tinatin Berdzenishvili, GPB Director General, adding that 1.1 million people watched the match, according to the National Regulatory Commission. “It was a record for any TV programme in Georgia. The entire nation was watching,” she said.

According to the article, this massive viewership underscores the crucial role of public service media in making significant and inspirational moments widely accessible.

“As part of the EBU’s successful negotiation of free-to-air broadcasting rights in the territory, Georgian football fans will be able to continue championing their team, with all EURO 2024 matches available on the First Channel.

The EBU has also secured similar free-to-air rights for fans in Malta and Cyprus, with radio Members also having the right to broadcast in these markets as a result of these agreements. The visibility of the tournament in these territories further highlights the EBU and its Members’ work to ensure that events of national importance reach a broad audience, fostering a sense of national pride and unity.

However, the team’s recognition extends beyond broadcast successes. The Georgian government recently awarded the national team, coaches, and management the Medal of Honour, and the National Bank of Georgia has issued a EURO 2024 collector’s coin to commemorate this historic milestone.

International recognition has also been plentiful, with public messages of congratulations from world leaders including President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan and President Maia Sandu of Moldova. Additionally, the Cartu Foundation, established in 1995 by the family of Bidzina Ivanishvili to support Georgia’s development through philanthropic and charity projects, has pledged significant investment if the team advances from the group stages.

Qualifying for the UEFA Euro for the first time is hugely significant for Georgia, bringing the country together in support of a common goal and enhancing national identity. Georgia’s first match in the European Championship will be against Turkey on 18 June in Dortmund, a debut that promises many more exhilarating moments to come.

Additionally, it places Georgia on the global sports map, increasing its visibility and recognition in the international community. This international recognition can have far-reaching positive effects, including boosting the local economy through revenue from broadcast advertising and sponsorships.

Moreover, this achievement can inspire greater investment in sports infrastructure and youth development programmes, encouraging more young people to participate in sports and improving the overall health and fitness of the population. A recent example of this is the success of England’s women’s national football team, the Lionesses, which led to a surge in interest and participation in women’s football across the country, demonstrating how international success can inspire a new generation of athletes,” reads the article.

Midfielder Giorgi Kochorashvili, speaking to the GPB’s First Channel from their Austrian training camp, stressed the tournament’s importance.

“The European Championship is a rare event, held every four years. For Georgia, it’s a particularly significant tournament. I urge fans to continue their unwavering support, and I hope to make them proud once again,” he said.

“As Georgia prepares for the European stage, the entire nation stands united in support, ready to cheer them on in this historic journey. And GPB’s exclusive coverage will ensure every Georgian can share in the excitement and pride of this unprecedented achievement. Ts’armat’ebebi Jvarosnebo!,” the article says.