BandSports set to finalise Conmebol rights deal, offer PPV matches

Bandeirantes, the Brazilian media group with free-to-air and pay-TV channels, has acquired the pay-television rights to the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana, according to local media reports, and is set to employ a novel pay-per-view model to screen the continental club football competitions.

The deal with the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol), which is set to be formally announced later today (Monday), will see Band take over the rights previously held by Globosat-owned SporTV.

Subscribers of BandSports will have to pay extra under a PPV model that is a first for the Brazilian market, according to Maquina do Esporte. It has been reported that Sky and Claro will initially be the only pay-television operators that will offer the new service, with the first game featuring a Brazilian team set to be Santos’ clash against Paraguay’s Olímpia tomorrow (Tuesday).

The Band deal 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.