Portuguese Football Federation ends RTP tie-up amid channel launch

The Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) has opted to scrap a content partnership with public-service broadcaster RTP following criticism of the deal within political circles.

The memorandum of understanding, which was signed on January 9, provided for the creation and promotion of content, as well as the sharing of rights and resources. RTP would also have enjoyed priority in choosing to broadcast FPF competitions, and could broadcast games and programs televised by the federation’s new in-house channel, ‘11’, via its Africa and International platforms.

The FPF announced its plans for 11 in June 2018, with Nuno Santos, a former executive at RTP and pay-television channel SIC Notícias, to lead the channel. Channel 11 is set to launch in May and will be carried by Portugal’s three main telcos, Nos, Altice and Vodafone.

However, days after the signing of the memorandum, the Workers’ Commission of RTP queried the deal, in particular the role of RTP journalist Carlos Daniel, who was chosen as director of 11, while maintaining his contract with RTP.

The agreement was also questioned during the Portuguese government’s fortnightly debate, which was held earlier this week. Prime Minister António Costa revealed that the finance and culture ministries had raised their concerns over the agreement.

In response, an unnamed FPF official told the Meios & Publicidade newspaper that the federation has decided to end the agreement as its “spirit and objectives” have not been understood. The official added: “The FPF has enormous respect for RTP and all its workers. The FPF will continue to be available to analyse opportunities for cooperation with RTP on a case-by-case basis, as has always been the case, in particular those that allow football to develop and allow the Portuguese, those living abroad and the wider diaspora, access to the national teams’ matches.”

Most recent

Pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus’s surprise move to share all its English Premier League rights in France for the 2019-22 cycle with telco Altice was related to a carriage deal secured late last year with Altice, SportBusiness Media understands. This deal enabled Canal’s platform to show RMC Sport channels, allowing it access to the Uefa Champions League.

The value of the Israeli Basketball Premier League’s domestic rights has stalled, with incumbent pay-television broadcaster Sports Channel renewing rights from 2019-20 amid little competition.

The two-and-a-half-year negotiation between Brazilian club Palmeiras and media group Globo ended in a good result for the club last month, as it became one of only three Série A clubs to receive a minimum guarantee for its pay-per-view rights in 2019.

The rights value in Italy for the pre-season International Champions Cup football tournament was weighed down by a combination of lower inventory, a busy summer sports calendar and a tough market environment, SportBusiness Media understands.