Bolsonaro’s media-rights decree backed by 16 Brazilian clubs

Support is building for a decree introduced by Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro, which markedly alters the media-rights landscape for the country’s football clubs, with 16 teams backing a manifesto in support of the bill.

The support of 16 of the 20 Série A teams brings to 40 the number of clubs across the country that have now united behind the decree, reports the UOL website.

The clubs that have signed are: Bahia, Palmeiras, Ceará, Fortaleza, Sport Recife, Athletico Paranaense, Coritiba, Red Bull Bragantino, Atlético Mineiro, Atlético Goianiense, Flamengo, Corinthians, Goiás, Vasco, Santos and Internacional. This means the outliers are Grêmio, Fluminense, Botafogo and São Paulo.

Introduced last month, the proposed law would see home teams in Brazil take full control of their media rights without the need to negotiate with the away team in situations where the two teams had individually-negotiated agreements with different broadcasters.

The text of the decree, MP 984, states that the clubs would be allowed to “negotiate, authorise or prohibit the capture, fixation, transmission or reproduction of images, by any means or process, of the sporting spectacle”.

The decree is currently in effect for 60 days, followed by another 60-day period. However, it still requires ratification from the Brazilian Congress in order to become law.

In their manifesto, the clubs claim fans will benefit from the decree as broadcast blackouts will end and revenue will increase from match coverage.

Under the proposed new legislation, clubs would also be able to sign shirt sponsorship deals with media companies in an overturning of a law that has been in place since 1998. The law would also permit clubs to broadcast home matches on their own TV channels.

The issuing of the decree led to a dispute between commercial broadcaster Globo and Flamengo over its coverage of the club’s home matches in Carioca state championship. Earlier this month, Globo was ordered to honour its contract for the Carioca by the Rio de Janeiro district court following an injunction being filed by the rights-holder.