FREE | Portugal market report, 2021

In the latest interactive monthly data report, SportBusiness Media analyses the media rights landscape of Portugal.

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

A football oriented market

Football dominates the Portuguese sports media landscape with some of the most valuable properties in the market. The domestic Portuguese Primeira Liga is one of the few top European football leagues where clubs sell their rights independently, though this arrangement is set to end.

The FPF, the Portuguese Football Federation and Liga Portugal, have confirmed their intention to sell media rights collectively, with the scheme set to start from the 2028-29 season. The memorandum of agreement signed between the two organisations at the beginning of 2021 involves a plan to crate a single company responsible for the sale of the league’s media rights.

Currently, Portuguese clubs Benfica, Sporting and Porto receive the most income from their domestic media rights deals.

Telco Nos holds media rights to Benfica and Sporting’s Primeira Liga home matches in two long-term deals. Benfica’s deal runs from 2016-17 to 2025-26 and provided Nos with exclusive distribution rights to Benfica’s pay-television channel BTV, on which the club’s home league matches are shown. Sporting’s deal is from 2018-19 to 2027-28 and includes rights to Sporting home matches from 2018-19 to 2027-28; shirt sponsorship rights from January 2016 to the end of 2027-28; and distribution rights to club channel Sporting TV from 2017-18 to 2028-29.

Rival telco Altice, which owns Portugal Telecom and its pay-television operator Meo, holds media rights to Porto home games in a ten season deal from 2018-19 to 2027-28. Altice holds media rights to Porto home matches from 2018-19 to 2027-28; shirt sponsorship rights from January 2016 to the end of 2022-23; and distribution rights to club channel Porto Canal from January 2016 to the end of 2027-28.

Altice also holds rights to the home league matches of Vitória de Guimarães, in a ten-season deal from 2018-19 to 2027-28 , and Rio Ave rights as well. Nos owns media rights to home matches of nine further teams, including Braga, in a ten season deal, from 2019-20 to 2028-29.

Although media rights to each club were bought individually by the telcos, all but Benfica’s home matches are shown on pay-television broadcaster Sport TV. The broadcaster is equally owned by Nos, Altice, agency Olivedesportos and telco Vodafone Portugal. These four organisations have an equal share of 25 per cent in Sport TV, enabling the broadcaster to show all the matches of the Primeira Liga.

BTV originally agreed to an exclusive carriage deal with Nos in 2015, but the telco has since shared carriage of the channel with MEO, Vodafone and telco Nowo. Sport TV also holds rights to the domestic cups Taça de Liga, in a four-season deal from 2018-19 to 2021-22, and Taça de Portugal, in a joint deal with commercial broadcaster TVI covering 2020-21 and 2021-22.

Click on each team icon to filter historical media rights value information.


International properties

Outside of domestic club football, the most valuable property in the market is the English Premier League. Sport TV holds rights to the league in Portugal in a three-season deal, from 2019-20 to 2021-22.

Portugal has two separate deals for Uefa’s club competitions. Uefa Champions League rights were acquired by multi-territory pay-television broadcaster Eleven Sports in a three-season deal, from 2018-19 to 2020-21. Uefa Europa League rights are held by Sport TV in a three-season deal, from 2018-29 to 2020-21. Both broadcasters renewed their respective rights for the upcoming cycle, from 2021-22 to 2023-24, for the same amounts. Sport TV added Uefa Europa Conference League rights.

Eleven Sports also holds rights to the Spanish LaLiga in a three-season deal, from 2018-19 to 2020-21. The broadcaster renewed its rights for three more seasons in a deal until the end of 2023-24.

Besides football, the FIA Formula One World Championship is the most valuable property in the country. The current deal was agreed in 2019 and ends this year. The FIA introduced the Portuguese Grand Prix starting from the 2020 season. It also features on the 2021 calendar.

Click on each team icon to filter historical media rights value information.


Broadcaster competition in the market

The primary buyers of sports media rights in the Portuguese market are pay-television broadcasters Nos and Eleven Sports. Nos owns 25 per cent of Sport TV, which dominated the Portuguese market for years before the arrival of Eleven Sports in 2018.

Previously, BTV tried to challenge Sport TV’s dominance from 2013, but the broadcaster withdrew from competing following Benfica’s deal with Nos in 2016. Eleven Sports entered the Portuguese market in 2018, when it acquired rights to the Uefa Champions League and the Spanish LaLiga, both in three-season deals. Eleven Sports is available via cable, thanks to carriage deals with Meo, Nos, Nowo and Vodafone, and online, through its streaming service.

With Nos and Meo focused on obtaining domestic football rights, Eleven Sports has focused its acquisition strategy on international properties, agreeing  deals for competitions such as the French Ligue 1 and the German Bundesliga. Outside of football, it acquired motorsport rights such as the FIA Formula One and Nascar, It also acquired rights to one of basketball’s most important European leagues, the Spanish Liga ACB.

The free-to-air market in Portugal has three main broadcasters. Public-service broadcaster RTP mostly focuses on national team games (including the Fifa World Cup) and minor sports rights, including those of national interest such as the Volta a Portugal and the Lisbon Marathon. Commercial broadcasters SIC and TVI compete for some properties with RTP, though their portfolio is mostly comprised of rights sublicensed from pay-television broadcasters. TVI also holds rights to the Taça de Portugal and the annual Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira, played between the winners of the Primeira Liga and Taça de Portugal, the latter of which covers 2021 and 2022.

Most recent

W Series, the all-female motorsport competition, turned down a significant rights fee from UK pay-television broadcaster Sky to renew with commercial broadcaster Channel 4 as it continues to prioritise exposure, SportBusiness Media understands.

Bundesliga International chief executive Robert Klein has said that Germany’s top-tier league has secured a “strong increase” for its international media rights across Europe from 2021-22.

Sources say the deal represents a decrease of about 25 per cent compared to beIN’s previous deal, from 2018-19 to 2020-21.

LaLiga's recently-secured, record-setting $1.4bn (€1.16bn) media rights deal with ESPN in the United States is the resounding high point thus far in the three-year history of LaLiga North America.