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Sport TV ‘begins legal proceedings’ against TVI over Euro 2020 rights payment

Portuguese pay-television broadcaster Sport TV has filed a claim against free-to-air broadcaster TVI over alleged non-payment of rights fees for the delayed Euro 2020 tournament.

The claim was filed at Lisbon’s central civil court on September 28.

The claim relates to an agreed sublicensing deal, reports the Expresso newspaper in Portugal. This would have seen TVI broadcast 22 live matches from the tournament, including the tournament’s final. TVI also acquired highlights rights as part of the sublicensing accord.

The pay-television broadcaster is reported to have alleged that payment was due by the start of the event. Euro 2020, however, was postponed until the summer of 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. SportTV is now reported to have claimed that it is owed the sum of about €7m ($8.2m).

Sport TV had acquired the exclusive rights to all 51 matches from Euro 2020 in February 2019 in a deal that marked the first time a Portuguese broadcaster had secured both pay-television and free-to-air rights.

TVI was set to broadcast the tournament’s opening match between Turkey and Italy, 12 other group-stage matches, including all three of Portugal’s matches from that stage, four round-of-16 matches, two quarter-final matches, both semi-final matches and the final itself.

The original deal was agreed with CAA Eleven, the national team sales agency of European football governing body Uefa.

The Euro 2016 tournament, which was won by Portugal, was broadcast by public broadcaster RTP as part of its membership of the European Broadcasting Union, which acquired rights across 26 countries in Europe. Sport TV did, however, show all 51 matches from the tournament through a sublicensing deal with RTP.