Eleven secures crucial carriage deals in Portugal with Nos, Meo and Vodafone

Pay-television broadcaster Eleven Sports may have fallen on hard times in the UK and Ireland, but its opportunistic acquisition strategy has cleared a pathway to success in Portugal’s broadcast market.

Eleven has successfully converted its shock purchase of Uefa Champions League rights into carriage deals with Portugal’s three major pay-television operators: Nos, Vodafone and Meo.

The deals ensure Eleven now has carriage on all four major pay-television operators in Portugal. Until now, Eleven had only one carriage deal in the country with its fourth-largest operator, Nowo.

A monthly subscription to Eleven will cost €9.99, while an annual subscription will cost €99.99. This price applies across all platforms, including its OTT service.

Unlike its operation in the UK and Ireland, Eleven was able to amass a more rounded portfolio of sports properties that strongly appealed to Portuguese sports fans. On top of the Champions League, Eleven also acquired rights to Spain’s LaLiga, Germany’s Bundesliga, France’s Ligue 1 and Formula One.

Experts were sceptical about whether Eleven could make its shock-entry strategy work in Portugal. Its main rival in the market, pay-television broadcaster Sport TV, is 75-per-cent owned by Nos, Vodafone and Portugal Telecom (owner of Meo).

Local experts believe that along with its varied offering, Eleven’s appointment of Jorge Pavao de Sousa to run its Portuguese operation was crucial to its success. De Sousa was previously head of TV at Vodafone and was also head of TV development for Portugal Telecom for eight years.