Mega to return to Greek screens with Euroleague sublicense

Greek free-to-air broadcaster Mega TV will return to Greek screens for the first time since 2018 and is set to broadcast the home Euroleague matches of Panathinaikos and Olympiacos.

Mega TV, also known as Mega Channel, will broadcast the home matches of both teams on a delayed basis after agreeing the sublicensing deal with current rights-holder, the pay-television broadcaster Nova, reports Greece’s Digital TV Info.

The free-to-air broadcaster was previously a considerable player in the Greek sports rights market, having held rights to the Uefa Champions League, Fifa World Cup qualifiers and the Greek Basketball Championships at various points.

Mega TV launched in 1989 and broadcast uninterrupted for 29 years before losing its license during the Greek left-leaning Syriza government’s restructure of its FTA broadcasters in 2018.

Broadcasters were required to pay €3.5m ($3.8m) to renew their license for 10 years with six spaces available for seven active free-to-air broadcasters at that time. It was believed that Mega elected not to pay that amount and consequently lost its broadcast license.

Mega was also criticised prior the restructure for its pro-austerity stance following the 2008 financial crisis which wrought havoc on Greece’s economy.

A snap election in Greece last year saw Syriza ousted by the centre-right New Democracy party in July 2019.

Mega TV was acquired for €40m by Greek media company Alter Ego, which is owned by Greek businessman Evangelos Marinakis, four months after the election and was granted a new broadcasting license as a result. Marinakis also owns the Greek multi-sport club Olympiacos and is the majority shareholder in English Championship club Nottingham Forest.