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FREE | Latin America Data Report, 2019

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA - MAY 05: Carlos Tevez of Boca Juniors fights for the ball with Ezequiel Bullaude of Godoy Cruz during a round of sixteen second leg match between Boca Juniors and Godoy Cruz at Estadio Alberto J. Armando on May 5, 2019 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)

In the latest interactive monthly data report, SportBusiness Media analyses the media-rights landscape in Latin America.

Further detail on the deals covered in this interactive data report is available with our Rights Tracker tool – click here for more information.

Brazil dominates market

Rights in Brazil are often sold separately to rights in other Latin American territories. Rights in the rest of the region are usually sold in a single package. This includes South America, Central America and Mexico unless otherwise stated.

According to the 2018 SportBusiness Consulting Global Report, Brazil has the most valuable sports media-rights market in Latin America, generating $1.2bn (€1.07bn) in 2018. It accounts for just over 50 per cent of the total value of the Latin American and 2.5 per cent of the global sports media market.

The report predicts that the rate of growth in Brazil from 2019 will stagnate as the depreciation of the Brazilian real has forced broadcasters to reassess the value of ‘nice-to-have’ properties that do not drive large numbers of subscriptions.

Excluding Brazil, the Latin American sports media market grew by about 14.7 per cent in 2018, driven by fierce competition for new domestic football deals, with rights-holders pushing for more transparency in the aftermath of the 2015 Fifa scandal.

Top Properties in Latin America

The Fifa World Cup is one of the most valuable properties in Latin America. Mountrigi Management Group, a Swiss-based subsidiary of Mexican media group Televisa, acquired rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in one deal across Latin America, excluding Brazil. It has already sold on rights in all markets.

Fifa, world football’s governing body, previously sold rights in the same territories in three separate deals: one in Argentina (with pay-television broadcaster TyC), one in Mexico (with media company Televisa) and one across all other territories (with the Organización de la Televisión Iberoamericanas, representing the region’s free-to-air broadcasters).

Several of the top properties’ rights values decreased in Latin America. None more than the Olympic Games, which decreased by about 75 per cent, from the 2016 Games to the 2020 Games. But this was always likely as the Games was hosted in Rio de Janerio in 2016.

In the new deal, pay-television broadcaster Claro Sports acquired rights to four Olympic Games, from 2017 to 2024. It acquired exclusive pay-television rights in South America, non-exclusive pay-television rights in Central America and Mexico, and exclusive digital rights across all these territories.

Top Properties in Brazil

The Brazilian Série A is the most valuable property in Brazil. Its clubs agreed new domestic deals last year after breaking away from a collective agreement. Media group Globo acquired free-to-air to all 20 clubs, pay-per-view rights to 19 clubs and pay-television rights to 13 clubs. Esporte Interativo acquired pay-television rights to the remaining seven clubs. One of the clubs, Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras, is yet to complete a pay-per-view deal. The new deals meant that the league increased the value of its media rights by just under 40 per cent.

Globo was forced to pay more than three times its fee in the previous cycle for the Copa do Brasil, the country’s knock-out cup competition, from 2018 to 2022. The increase was driven by competition from sports broadcaster Esporte Interativo.

In contrast, the value of rights to the Uefa Champions League decreased due to little or no competition. Uefa’s new deal is with social media platform Facebook and Esporte Interativo, for exclusive free-to-air and pay-television Champions League rights respectively, from 2018-19 to 2020-21.

The new deal is about 42-per-cent less than Uefa earned in the previous cycle, from 2015-16 to 2017-18.

Enter DAZN

OTT streaming platform DAZN’s aggressive entry into Brazil began with a host of major football properties.

Last year, DAZN acquired exclusive Italian Serie A rights in Brazil from the IMG agency. The three-season deal with IMG will run from the 15th match-week of the 2018-19 season to the end of 2020-21.

An exact comparison of the value of Serie A rights in Brazil in the current cycle to the previous cycles is difficult because rights were previously sold as part of a deal across Latin America. However, these rights have almost certainly fallen in value. In the previous cycle, from 2015-16 to 2017-18, rights were held by pay-television broadcaster Fox covering Latin America (including Brazil).

DAZN also acquired exclusive French Ligue 1 rights, from the 17th match-week of the 2018-19 season to the end of 2020-21.

Ligue 1’s international rights-holder, beIN Media Group  agreed a deal with DAZN in Brazil, netting a 166-per-cent increase on the value of the rights in the previous cycle, when pay-television broadcaster Globo held rights from 2012-13 to 2017-18.

So far, DAZN’s only successful Latin American acquisition outside of Brazil is the English Premier League in a three-season deal, from 2019-20 to 2021-22, dislodging incumbent broadcaster DirecTV. DAZN will not launch a Latin America service outside Brazil if it cannot add further premium content, particularly top football. If it is unable to do so, it will sublicense Premier League rights to another broadcaster.

Domestic Latin American football

Outside of the Brazilian Serie A, some of the biggest deals in the region are for domestic football league rights.

The next biggest domestic league across Latin America is Argentina’s Primera División. Fox Sports Latin America and media group Turner have an equal share to all Primera media rights for five seasons, from 2017-18 to 2021-22, with an option to extend by a further five seasons until the end of the 2026-27 season.

Key Latin American broadcasters

Most recent

Premier League club Liverpool’s decision to launch ‘paid-for’ content options on global video-sharing platform YouTube is a taster of how the platform will develop its sports-broadcasting partnerships.

TF1 and M6’s joint acquisition of Euro 2020 free-to-air rights was struck at a similar per-match fee as the one they paid for the last comparable edition of the tournament, in 2012.

There are two truisms in the sale of sports media rights which at first glance appear difficult to reconcile. One is that every market has a unique set of characteristics and the value earned is contingent upon those characteristics at the moment the rights are sold. The other is that the early deals in a market-by-market sales cycle create a psychological benchmark which affects how sales in the following markets play out.

The International Olympic Committee extended a long run of media-rights revenue growth in Japan in its latest deal with the market’s free-to-air broadcaster consortium for 2026 to 2032, when the special case of the large Tokyo 2020 sales cycle is disregarded.