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RTBF sublicenses Belgian Pro League highlights in five-season deal

Belgian French-language public-service broadcaster RTBF has agreed a five-season highlights deal for the top-tier Pro League with international subscription broadcaster Eleven Sports.

The deal, which runs from 2020-21 and 2024-25, also includes highlights rights to the country’s Women’s Super League.

RTBF held the French-language Pro League highlights rights in the previous 2017-20 cycle. The broadcaster will continue to exploit them on its Studio Foot and Le Week-end Sportif shows as well as its La Tribune football discussion programme.

The two broadcasters have also agreed some editorial co-operation as part of the deal, with RTBF presenter and journalist Benjamin Deceuninck commenting each week for Eleven on its Pro League matches.

No announcement has yet been made on the destination of the Dutch-language highlights rights in Belgium. Commercial broadcaster Vier held the free-to-air Dutch-language highlights rights in the 2017-20 cycle.

Eleven, which will pay €103m ($120.8m) per season for the 2020-25 cycle for its exclusive global rights to Belgian football, will launch three dedicated Belgian football channels this week.

Its rights inventory comprises domestic and international rights to the top two Belgian divisions as well as the Belgian Cup, the Belgian Super Cup, the women’s Super League and the E-Pro League.

Eleven has agreed distribution deals for the channels with telcos Proximus and Orange.

The broadcaster’s Belgian football coverage will be produced by Spanish group Mediapro and Proximus Media House, an arm of Proximus.

Non-exclusive clip rights deals were in place with the league’s live and highlights broadcasters during the previous cycle, along with various publishing companies, including De Persgroep and Mediahuis.