GSRM and Stats Perform sign off Brazilian league deals in time for new season

Global Sports Rights Management, the agency set up by Latin American sports rights executives, and Stats Perform, the sports data and technology company, have finalised their media and betting video rights agreements for Brazilian football’s top two leagues.

The two proposed contracts were finally signed by the clubs in the top-tier Campeonato Brasileiro Série A and second-tier Série B leagues ahead of the start of the 2020 season at the weekend.

The clubs had voted in April to back the agreements but further details had to be hammered out as the Covid-19 pandemic delayed the start of the season by over three months.

Both agreements run from 2020 to 2023 and include 380 matches from each league.

GSRM has been awarded the exclusive international free-to-air, pay-television, pay-per-view and streaming rights in a deal that includes the sale of rights across various platforms.

In addition, GSRM plans to create an international subscription over-the-top streaming platform to showcase matches from the two leagues.

GSRM, who SportBusiness first reported to be in pole position to land the international broadcast rights, said today (Monday): “The idea is to export Brasileirão’s image through direct sales to consumers, and also to explore opportunities such as sponsorships for the Brazilian football product, the creation of branded content and virtual advertising during broadcasts, among many other possibilities to generate earnings for clubs.”

The top two Brazilian leagues have suffered from a lack of international exposure in recent seasons after failed attempts to sell the rights to an agency.

Zeus Sports Marketing, the boutique sports marketing agency with offices in London and Singapore, acquired the exclusive betting streaming and data rights on Stats Perform’s behalf.

The deal with the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) and the clubs was signed off in time for Stats Perform to provide the betting streams and data to its bookmaker clients over the weekend.

Alex Rice, Stats Perform’s chief rights officer, said: “We are delighted to be chosen and trusted by CBF and the clubs to deliver high quality betting experiences. Brazil produces the largest number of professional footballers around the world, with many of the world’s most exciting prospects emerging from Brasileirão Série A before making the move across the Atlantic to Europe’s leading clubs. It is an exciting time to be involved and we look forward to working with the leagues as they kick off their season.”

Josh Burack, partner and managing director, Zeus Sports Marketing Asia-Pacific, added: “ZSM is delighted to have orchestrated this landmark commercial arrangement between the CBF, the Clubs Commission and Stats Perform which ensures that Brazilian football returns to the betting and data arena. We look forward to serving Stats Perform, the CBF and all 40 clubs from the top two divisions to bring this high-profile football content to services around the world.”

GSRM was set up by Hernán Donnari, previously a leading figure at Fox Sports Latin America, Matias and Raul Rivera, co-founders of the Fanatiz streaming platform, David Belmar, president of 1190 Sport, a Latin American sports rights management company, and Juan Arciniegas of Miami-based private investment firm 777 Sports.

The executives behind GSRM also recently targeted the Argentinian Superliga international rights during a controversial invitation-to-tender process and through the similarly-named and branded Argentina Sports Rights Management.

Commenting on the sign-off of its international rights contract, Donnari remarked: “The main focus of our work is to increase the visibility of Brasileirão Series A and B championships abroad and to take it to a higher level of international exposure. Today there is already a great interest, not attended, for Brazilian football in markets in Asia, Latin America, North America and Europe.

“The Brasileirão Série A is one of the top ten leagues in the world and the country is the number one exporter of players on the planet, something that in itself already generates great attraction and makes other regions turn their eyes to the football played in the country.”

Both proposals included a minimum guarantee payment, while the GSRM offer also included a revenue-share model based on sales performance.

GSRM will share revenues with the clubs in the OTT project. In the new tender guidelines issued in March, it was made clear that the winning rights bidder would assume the OTT platform development costs.

Other companies known to have been in the running for the international broadcast and/or betting streaming and data rights included the IMG, Lagardère Sports and Pitch International agencies, along with the Brazilian streaming platform TVN Sports and Brazilian betting operator Betsul.

In the middle of March, bidders were informed of the reworked rights inventory on offer.

The proposed contract term was reduced to four seasons and bidders asked to provide details of any minimum guarantee and revenue-share payments. In the event, not all bids carried minimum guarantees. Bidders were asked to specify how many games they would ensure would be produced and distributed during each match round.

Ahead of that issuing of the reworked rights inventory a month ago, the clubs and the CBF had attracted four different proposals for the rights.

The CBF and Brazilian clubs last year restarted the international rights sales process after the collapse of a proposed agreement with the Sport Promotion agency. That deal, which was backed by Swiss investment fund Ecotonian, covered a four-plus-six-year period and included exclusive local-language international media rights, non-exclusive Portuguese-language media rights and clubs’ pitchside advertising rights.

International rights were held by Globo between 2016 and 2018 under its domestic rights deals with Série A clubs. Globo also held pitchside advertising rights to all 20 clubs on an individual basis.

The initial offer from IMG, from 2020 to 2024, did not provide a minimum guarantee, but was based on a commission-based model adopted, as exclusively reported by SportBusiness. The first offer from TVN Sports was also for five seasons and did include a minimum guarantee element. IMG had lodged specific proposals over the marketing of the international broadcast, betting streaming, data and sponsorship rights.