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Cypriot telco trio set to sign tripartite sports channel carriage deal

A trio of Cypriot telcos are in the advanced stages of agreeing a tripartite carriage agreement which would see all three share their sports channels with one another.

SportBusiness understands that Cyta, PrimeTel and Cablenet are close to signing a deal which would open up sports content across the country, allowing subscribers access to a clean sweep of content in Cyprus.

The deal echoes a similar carriage arrangement between PrimeTel and CableNet which came into effect last year. The two telecoms operators agreed to reciprocal access to their respective sports rights across a combined 10 channels.

Of the three, Cyta is the largest player and adding its channels to the PrimeTel and Cablenet platforms would involve the seven CytaSport channels joining their lineups.

The three parties are the dominant buyers of sports rights in Cyprus and between them hold all of the rights to the country’s top-tier domestic football league. PrimeTel also holds exclusive rights to the Spanish LaLiga in Cyprus.

Adding Cyta to the mix will see the inclusion of the English Premier League, Uefa Champions League and Europa League and Formula 1 motor racing.

Cyta is also understood to be taking a highly “cost-conscious” approach to future acquisitions in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, a Cypriot market source told SportBusiness.

The result will likely be a reduced appetite for acquiring further rights outside of the telco’s existing portfolio. It is understood that the telco’s sports rights budget has been cut for the coming year.