O2 set to retain Czech league as rights fees more than double

(Marko Lukunic/Pixsell/MB Media/Getty Images)
(Marko Lukunic/Pixsell/MB Media/Getty Images)

Domestic broadcast rights to the top two Czech football leagues have fetched CZK430m (€17.6m/$19.1m) per season during an invitation to tender with telco O2 picking up the lion’s share of the inventory.

Following two rounds of bidding, O2, which operates a pay-TV service, has been identified as the winning bidder for live rights in the Czech Republic and Slovakia to all matches from the top-tier Fortuna Liga.

Betting operator Betano has delivered the winning offer for the domestic betting streaming rights, while the Pragosport agency has been identified as the winner of the domestic rights to the second-tier Fortuna National Liga.

All three deals, which would run from 2024-25 to 2028-29, must be approved at a November 28 board meeting of the Ligové Fotbalové Asociace (LFA), the Czech league football association.

The fees secured would represent an increase of around two-and-a-half times on the current four-year agreement with Pragosport running from 2020-21 to 2023-24. Pragosport sold the domestic rights onto O2.

International broadcast rights and international betting streaming rights must still be awarded.

For O2, the rights swoop follows on from its retention of rights to Czech ice hockey’s top-tier Extraliga from 2023-24 to 2027-28. The telco must ensure a VAR system under its proposed rights agreement with the LFA, including the provision of calibrated line technology for offside decisions.

O2 also holds rights to premium football properties such as the Uefa Champions League, the Premier League, the Bundesliga and LaLiga.

Marek Kindernay, executive director of O2 TV Sport, said: “Already today, O2 TV is available to almost 800,000 customers, viewership is breaking historical records. Our premium channels offer unique opportunities for advertisers and also for the league clubs that we help significantly. Thanks to O2 TV, they will receive significantly more funds, which they can invest in youth development, stadium improvements or fan activations.”

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