Astro adds Primeira Liga to football output

Malaysian pay-television broadcaster Astro has added rights to Portugal’s Primeira Liga to its sports output in a deal signed ahead of the start of the 2020-21 season this weekend.

Astro has secured exclusive rights in a deal with the Sportfive agency, which was recently appointed to sell the league’s international rights for the next three seasons.

Astro said that coverage of the Portuguese top tier is returning to its schedules after an absence of “many years”.

It will show two fixtures per match day with English commentary and its offering will begin on Sunday as Sporting Lisbon face Gil Vicente and Porto tackle Braga.

There could be heightened Malaysian interest in the league if national team star Safawi Rasid completes a move to Portimonense. The Portimão-based club recently submitted an offer for the Johor Darul Ta’zim player. Rasid would become the third Malaysian to play in Portugal, following on from Nazmi Faiz Mansor (SC Beira Mar) and Ahmad Fakri Saarani (Atlético SC).

Astro already holds rights to the English Premier League, LaLiga, Ligue 1, Serie A, the Korean K-League and Japan’s J.League.

Sportfive recently signed off a three-year Primeira Liga rights deal with German pay-television broadcaster Sportdigital Fussball. A renewal was also recently agreed in France with RMC Sport, the Altice-owned subscription broadcaster, continuing to show the league.

Sportfive’s new international sales remit was only signed off last month. It was one of the first deals since the agency’s executive reshuffle and rebranding (from Lagardère Sports) following the takeover by H.I.G. Europe.

The agency distributed also rights in Europe and Latin America during the 2017-20 cycle. Portuguese pay-television broadcaster Sport TV, which holds the international distribution rights, issued an invitation to tender at the start of April.