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Record threatens legal action over Globo World Cup deal

Brazilian commercial broadcaster Record said that it would consider taking legal action after accusing Fifa, football’s world governing body, of reneging on a promise to carry out a “public, transparent and open” tender for the country’s broadcast rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Fifa said this week that media group Globo, which holds rights to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil under a deal for all Fifa events running from 2007 to 2014, had retained multi-platform rights for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

“The best plan is to study legal measures in Switzerland and Brazil to ensure the rights of international negotiations,” Record said. “We believe in justice and… fighting monopoly practices, protectionism and corruption.”

Record added: “Record is publicly expressing complete surprise with Fifa’s decision to extend the agreement for rights to broadcast the World Cup in 2018 and 2022 in Brazil with another station without bidding.

“Record was informed in 2010 shortly after the World Cup by Fifa TV director Mr. Niclas Ericson that there would be a competition for broadcasting rights for events organised by Fifa in 2018 and 2022, according to conversations and emails exchanged between executives at Record and Fifa.

“At a meeting held at Hotel Fasano in Rio de Janeiro, the directors of our company heard assurances that the bid would be public, transparent and open in a similar system to those [tenders] Fifa holds in countries around the world. On that occasion, Record also delivered an official document to Fifa [to confirm] agreement with all conditions for the acquisition of the events.

“The agreement with the competition was announced without any other media company in Brazil being consulted. It is strange to see that Brazil has another method [to other countries].

“[This was] a contract that was decided ‘out-of-hours’ away from daylight and transparency and without competition.”

The broadcaster also attacked Globo for “not accepting free competition where the best bid is the winner” despite “calling itself one of the world’s largest communications groups.”

Globo’s new agreement with Fifa covers rights across cable, satellite, and terrestrial television, as well as mobile and internet, for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2022 tournament in Qatar.