Band decision means Brazil set for free-to-air World Cup

Brazilian broadcaster Rede Bandeirantes has declined to strike a sublicensing deal for rights to the 2018 Fifa World Cup, stating the national team football tournament does not fit in with its strategic plans.

Media company Globo is the rights-holder to the World Cup in Brazil and reports last year had claimed that Rede Bandeirantes, otherwise known as Band, was set to agree a sublicensing deal.

The Maquina do Esporte website said its decision to forgo an agreement will mean that the World Cup will be presented exclusively on free-to-air television in Brazil for the first time since 2002.

Maquina added that Band was concerned at the cost of a sublicensing deal, which it said would have come to around R$50m (€12.5m/$15.5m) including the contract fee and the cost of sending a team out to World Cup host nation Russia.

In a statement, Band said: “Due to the strategic change of Band, which in 2018 expands its investment in a diversified programming and increasingly aligns with the taste of the Brazilian public, the station chose not to broadcast the next World Cup, concentrating its efforts on development and launch of its own programming.”

Brazil became the first team to qualify for Russia 2018 back in March 2017.