Belgian pay-television operator Proximus TV has sealed a rights deal with the country’s Pro League that will coincide with a restructuring and renaming of the football league’s second-tier championship.
Proximus TV has acquired exclusive rights for D1B, a new competition that will operate beneath the top-tier Pro League, for four years, from 2016-17 to 2019-20. The deal also includes non-exclusive rights for the top division over the same four-year period.
As part of the deal, Proximus TV will be the title sponsor of the D1B competition.
From the start of the 2016-17 season, the number of professional teams in the Belgian football championship will increase from 16 to 24. Sixteen teams will play in the Pro League, while eight teams will compete in the new Proximus League.
“This agreement will enable the Pro League to financially support its eight new members and, in the interest of the public in particular, increase the quality of this new championship,” Pro League chief executive Pierre François said. “This clearly represents a promotion for the Division 2 clubs that will have acquired the right to access it at the end of this season.”
Teams in the Proximus League will play each other four times per season.