ERT secures Super League 2 deal with reduced fee

Greek public broadcaster ERT has finalised negotiations with Greek second-tier football league Super League 2 for the league’s media rights at a reduced fee.

The one-season deal with ERT will see the public broadcaster exploit rights on its high-definition ERT Sports channels. The deal covers the rights to 11 of the 12 Super League 2 clubs as Apollon Smyrnis is poised to launch legal action against ERT with allegations that the broadcaster is breaking a contract which it signed.

Fellow SL2 club Levadiakos was also understood to be mulling legal action, though it has now abandoned those plans.

The clubs were understood to have issued a production tender which ERT is now believed to have agreed to.

Negotiations were ongoing for several weeks after ERT proposed as much as a 60-per-cent reduction in fees. The proposal would have seen ERT pay €600,000 ($665,000) to PAS Giannina, Levadiakos and Apollon Smyrnis, with an offer of €340,000 for the remaining nine clubs. That proposal was rejected outright with the clubs thought to be willing to accept closer to a 20-per-cent reduction.

ERT found its funding cut following this year’s election in Greece. The New Democracy party ousted the incumbent Syriza and subsequently slashed the amount available to ERT for sports rights acquisitions.

ERT’s struggles have also affected Super League 1 clubs with pay-television broadcaster Nova capitalising on its rival’s struggles by signing deals with the majority of Greece’s top teams. PAOK remains the only major club in Greece without an agreed broadcast deal for this season. The club has instead been showing its home matches on its OTT platform, PAOK TV.