Benfica retains rights for club channel

Portuguese football club Benfica will keep its media rights for exploitation on its own basic-tier channel, Benfica TV, after deciding against selling the rights to a broadcaster or agency from the start of next season.

The board of the club said that exploiting the rights on Benfica TV would be “the most appropriate solution to protect the interests of the shareholders,” considering the “external environment and domestic television rights market.”

On Wednesday, Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira said that the club would not renew its rights deal with the Olivedesportos agency, the dominant sports rights agency in the market, which controls the rights for most Portuguese clubs. The club had previously rejected an offer from the agency of €111 million ($143 million) over five seasons, from 2013-14 to 2017-18, or €22.2 million per season. The club currently earns €7.5 million per season in its 10-year contract with Olivedesportos which expires at the end of this season, significantly less than rival clubs Porto and Sporting Lisbon.

Olivedesportos is controlled by Sportinveste, which is owned by businessman Joaquim Oliveira. Oliveira also co-owns Portuguese pay-television broadcaster Sport TV through investment vehicle Controlinveste.