CNN Brasil ‘in talks’ to take on Turner’s Brasileirão rights

The Brazilian arm of CNN is reported to be in talks to acquire the rights to the top tier of Brazilian domestic football that are currently held by Turner Sports in the country.

The two parties have entered negotiations, reports UOL, with Turner said to be willing to part with its Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A rights as regulatory scrutiny increases around the specifications of Brazil’s 2011 ‘Conditional Access Law’.

Turner holds the pay-television rights to eight clubs in the top tier. Brazilian media group Globo argued in a recent legal battle that Turner broke the 2011 act due its parent company telco AT&T also owning telecoms and pay-television operator Sky. The law prohibits one business from producing both television content and running television or telephony operators.

If a deal is reached with CNN Brasil, which is completely Brazilian owned and sits outside of the AT&T structure, it is thought that it would broadcast matches on its CNN Esportes television channel.

In its legal claim lodged last month, Globo claimed that Turner’s acquisition of matches through the PM984 media-rights decree constituted an “economic abuse”.

PM984 was introduced by Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro earlier this year and places sole control of a club’s media rights in the hands of the home team. Both the home and away team were previously required to reach an agreement over a broadcast deal prior to its introduction.

Globo is the dominant broadcaster of domestic Brazilian football, holding free-to-air and pay-per-view rights to all 20 Campeonato Série A clubs and pay-television rights of 12 Série A clubs.