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BandSports-produced Conmebol TV to launch in Brazil

The South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) has announced the formation of a new platform that will exploit the pay-television rights of its club competitions in Brazil for the next three seasons.

Conmebol TV will be owned by the continental governing body and produced by the BandSports pay-television arm of Brazilian media group Bandeirantes.

Claro and Sky, the country’s largest pay-television operators with around 12 million customers throughout Brazil, will exclusively market Conmebol TV, which will be available on their platforms.

Conmebol TV will retail at R$39.90 (€6.37/$7.57) per month and will offer matches from the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana, as well as the annual Recopa game between the reigning champions of the two competitions.

During the 2020 season, Conmebol TV will offer exclusive matches for subscribers from each round of the Copa Libertadores. The final, which this year will be held at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã, will be broadcast on free-to-air and pay channels throughout Brazil.

Conmebol TV will offer complete and exclusive coverage of the Sudamericana during its 2020 edition. The formation of such a platform is unprecedented for the Brazilian market.

Juan Emilio Roa, commercial director of Conmebol, said: “This new alliance allows us to further increase the distribution of the matches of our exciting tournaments to fans in Brazil.”

The announcement comes after commercial free-to-air broadcaster SBT last week acquired the free-to-air rights to the Copa Libertadores that were recently given up by media group Globo. Those rights will cover the 2020-22 cycle and will begin from the tournament’s third round on Wednesday. It is expected that SBT will broadcast two matches per matchweek on its linear television channels.

The deal was agreed with FC Diez Media, a joint venture between the IMG agency and media company DAZN Group, and the property’s rights-holder Conmebol. It was created to handle global commercial rights related to the Copa Libertadores and second-tier Copa Sudamericana, for which it guarantees Conmebol a fee of $350m (€295m) per year.

Conmebol broadcast rights agreements in Brazil previously held by Globo and OTT subscription platform DAZN were cancelled last month. Both broadcasters sought to protect revenue streams in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and agreed to cancel their contracts with Conmebol.

Globo, the dominant media presence in Brazil, had cancelled its Copa Libertadores contract due to the fall in value of the Brazilian real against the US dollar.

Globo’s free-to-air rights to the competition were worth about $65m per season in a deal that was set to cover a four-season cycle between 2019 and 2022. At the time the deal was agreed in 2018, the dollar-to-real conversion rate was 1 to 3.88. At the time of writing, this now stands at 1 to 5.32, meaning Globo’s expenditure on the property had risen by more than a third since the acquisition was agreed.