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Proximus secures Pro League rights deal

Belgian pay-television broadcaster Proximus has sealed a rights deal for the Pro League, the top division of domestic football.

The agreement will cover the next three seasons, from 2017-18 to 2019-20, with Proximus acquiring rights to two packages.

Proximus has secured non-exclusive rights (lot one) for live television coverage, along with lot four, featuring in-game delayed coverage and clips, also on a non-exclusive basis.

The Pro League said in a statement: “The Pro League is delighted to see the quality of its top competition translated through a substantial increase in the national rights.

“If we consider the already concluded agreements, including international rights that have yet to be commercialised, we can conclude that the milestone of €80m ($87.3m per season) is already advanced.”

Earlier this month, Proximus said it expected to seal a rights deal for the Pro League within weeks, adding that an agreement would be reached barring an “improbable catastrophe”.

Proximus’ pay-television rivals Telenet and Voo were earlier awarded live rights for the Pro League. The MP & Silva agency handled the rights-sales process, which covered the three seasons from 2017-18 to 2019-20 in Belgium and Luxembourg.

The broadcasters were awarded non-exclusive rights (lot one) for live television coverage, with Telenet having rights in Dutch and Voo having rights in French for three seasons. Telenet was also awarded lot two – exclusive rights in Dutch and French for live coverage on internet and mobile platforms.

The rights for lot three – live coverage of the Super Cup – were acquired exclusively for pay-television platforms by Telenet in Dutch and French, and for free-to-air television by local public-service broadcaster RTBF in French.

Lot four, featuring in-game delayed coverage and clips, was acquired on a non-exclusive basis in French by Voo and RTBF, and on a non-exclusive basis in Dutch by public-service broadcaster VRT.

The weekend free-to-air highlights included in lot five were acquired on a non-exclusive basis by Telenet in Dutch and RTBF in French. Telenet will offer the highlights via free-to-air channel Vier.

Proximus is an existing Pro League rights-holder and had reportedly already submitted one offer, which was rejected. Proximus chief executive Dominique Leroy had sought to dampen fears that the broadcaster would lose its coverage by stating that it was still negotiating for the best possible deal.