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Sport TV mulls options as Euro 2020 sublicensing talks continue

Portuguese pay-television broadcaster Sport TV has insisted that it is ready to broadcast Euro 2020 matches on Sport TV+, its channel available without a subscription, although talks with free-to-air broadcasters continue with regards to the sublicensing of rights.

Sport TV chief executive Nuno Ferreira Pires told Portuguese newspaper Eco that negotiations were live with a handful of Portugal’s main free-to-air broadcasters but admitted that this was a “critical time” for discussions with Portugal now having sealed its qualification.

The broadcasters who could be in the running include public broadcaster RTP and commercial duo SIC and TVI. If no deal is agreed, Portugal’s matches would be exploited on Sport TV+, which is available in around 92 per cent of households in Portugal.

A bid for the rights from RTP was rejected by Sport TV in September, it is claimed.

Sport TV made history in Portugal when it acquired both the pay-television and FTA rights to Euro 2020 in February. It marked the first time that the rights had been sold together in Portugal.

Upon the announcement of the deal, Pires maintained that it was the priority to negotiate the on-sale of rights to a free-to-air broadcaster.

Rights for Euro 2016 were acquired by RTP in Portugal via its membership of the EBU, which acquired rights across 26 countries in Europe. However, Sport TV went on to show all 51 matches from the tournament in a sublicensing deal with the public broadcaster, which kept hold of rights to 24 fixtures, including Portugal’s matches and the knockout round matches.

RTP currently hold rights to first- and second-party Uefa European Qualifier and Nations League rights from 2018-19 to 2021-22. Sport TV acquired third-party rights over the same period.

Rights to Euro 2020 were sold by the CAA Eleven agency, Uefa’s sales agent for its national team matches.