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Facebook and Fox Sports to share Copa Libertadores rights in South America

Social media platform Facebook has agreed a sub-licencing deal with pay-television broadcaster Fox Sports for the Copa Libertadores in South America.

The agreement, which commences Tuesday, runs for one year.

It covers Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. In last year’s tender, Facebook and Fox each acquired two packages of Copa Libertadores rights in the region – the tender was operated on behalf of Conmebol, the South American football federation, by the FC Diez Media joint venture between IMG and DAZN Group.

The new deal comes despite Facebook’s claim last month that it would retain exclusivity over its Copa Libertadores rights in both South America and Brazil.

“We asked Conmebol for the right to sub-license the matches for the rest of the year, in order to reach more people,” Facebook told SportBusiness Media on Tuesday.

Under the terms, Fox will be able to broadcast all Thursday matches previously acquired by Facebook, while Facebook will be able to show 46 – rather than 28 – matches live on its Facebook Watch platform. Facebook’s Copa Libertadores matches will now be available via the tournament’s official page on the platform, as well as Fox Sports’ page.

Commenting on the new agreement, Leonardo Lenz, director of sports partnerships for Facebook in Latin America, said: “Consumer behaviour is changing, and we want to help bring that change and innovation to the sports ecosystem in Latin America. Our experience has shown us that adding more matches can facilitate a better adoption of the change.”

Both parties deals with Conmebol are scheduled to run for four years, from 2019 to 2022.