Brazilian clubs vote for GSRM and Zeus-Stats Perform international rights deals

Global Sports Rights Management, the agency set up by Latin American sports rights executives, is poised to secure the international broadcast rights to Brazilian football’s top two leagues after being chosen by the nominated clubs commission.

The clubs met via video conference on Friday afternoon to vote for their preferred proposal and, along with giving their backing to GSRM, also backed a joint international betting streaming and data rights deal with Zeus Sports Marketing, the boutique sports marketing agency with offices in London and Singapore, and Stats Perform, the sports data and technology company.

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) and the National Clubs Commission (CNC) said that the voting represents the “first phase of the selection process” in the awarding of the rights to the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A and B leagues.

The selected companies will now undergo validation for the scope of work, governance and compliance checks and be asked to present financial guarantees before contracts can be finalised and the rights awarded in four-year deals from 2020 to 2023.

GSRM, who SportBusiness Media previously reported to be in pole position to land the international broadcast rights, was set up by Hernán Donnari, previously a leading figure at Fox Sports Latin America, Matias and Raul Rivera, co-founders of the Fanatiz streaming platform, David Belmar, president of 1190 Sport, a Latin American sports rights management company, and Juan Arciniegas of Miami-based private investment firm 777 Sports.

The executives behind GSRM also recently targeted the Argentinian Superliga international rights during a controversial invitation-to-tender process and through the similarly-named and branded Argentina Sports Rights Management.

The clubs voted to award the international free-to-air, pay-television, pay-per-view and streaming rights to GSRM and the international betting streaming and data rights to Zeus and Stats Perform.

Both proposals include a minimum guarantee payment, while the GSRM bid also includes a revenue-share model based on sales performance.

Other companies known to have been in the running for the international broadcast and/or betting streaming and data rights included the IMG, Lagardère Sports and Pitch International agencies, along with the Brazilian streaming platform TVN Sports and Brazilian betting operator Betsul.

In the middle of March, bidders were informed of the reworked rights inventory on offer. The proposed contract term was reduced to four seasons and bidders asked to provide details of any minimum guarantee and revenue share payments. In the event, not all bids carried minimum guarantees.

Bidders were asked to specify how many games they would ensure would be produced and distributed during each match round. Due to existing domestic broadcast rights and production duties held by Globo, the Brazilian commercial broadcaster will provide a clean signal for the Série A (until 2023) and the Série B (until 2022). The betting streams are to be made available to bookmakers in lower image quality and covering a maximum of the quarter of the screen.

Ahead of that issuing of the reworked rights inventory a month ago, the clubs and the CBF had attracted four different proposals for the rights.

The CBF and Brazilian clubs last year restarted the international rights sales process after the collapse of a proposed agreement with the Sport Promotion agency. That deal, which was backed by Swiss investment fund Ecotonian, covered a four-plus-six-year period and included exclusive local-language international media rights, non-exclusive Portuguese-language media rights and clubs’ pitchside advertising rights.

International rights were held by Globo between 2016 and 2018 under its domestic rights deals with Série A clubs. Globo also held pitch-side advertising rights to all 20 clubs on an individual basis.

The initial offer from IMG, from 2020 to 2024, did not provide a minimum guarantee, but was based on a commission-based model adopted, as exclusively reported by SportBusiness. The first offer from TVN Sports was also for five seasons and did include a minimum guarantee element. IMG had lodged specific proposals over the marketing of the international broadcast, betting streaming, data and sponsorship rights.