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Brazilian league nears award of international broadcast and betting streaming rights

Botafogo's Joao Paulo during Brazilian Championship match against Fortaleza (Photo by MAURO PIMENTEL/AFP via Getty Images)

Clubs from Brazilian football’s top two leagues are to meet on Friday with a view to finally awarding the international broadcast, betting streaming and data rights.

The nominated clubs body and the Brazilian Football Confederation met yesterday (Tuesday) to assess bids for the rights to the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A and B leagues.

The rights are expected to be awarded for four seasons, from 2020 to 2023, after a reworked rights framework was sent to interested parties a month ago.

SportBusiness understands that the Global Sports Rights Management rights agency is now in pole position to secure the international broadcast rights distribution contract.

GSRM was set up by Hernán Donnari, previously a leading figure at Fox Sports Latin America, Matias and Raul Rivera, the co-founders of the Fanatiz streaming platform, David Belmar, president of 1190 Sport, a Latin American sports rights management company, and Juan Arciniegas from Miami-based private investment firm 777 Sports.

The executives behind GSRM also recently targeted the Argentinian Superliga international rights during a controversial invitation-to-tender process.

The betting and data rights are now being sold separately to the international broadcast rights and have attracted interested from some leading industry players.

Ahead of the issuing of the reworked rights inventory a month ago, the clubs and the CBF had attracted four different proposals for the rights.

These included offers from the IMG agency, a joint proposal from the Brazilian streaming platform TVN Sports and Stats Perform and a bid by Brazilian betting operator Betsul. An offer was also lodged by a boutique sports marketing agency involving former media-rights sales executives at leading agencies. At least three of the offers were to cover five seasons (2020 to 2024).

The Lagardère Sports agency has since entered the race for the rights, it is understood. Pitch International, the agency that works with the CBF on national team rights, was also thought to be looking at the rights.

In the middle of March, bidders were informed of the reworked rights inventory on offer. SportBusiness understands that the rights were then split up into: International television rights (free-to-air, pay-television and pay-per-view); international streaming rights; international betting streaming rights; and data rights.

The proposed contract term was also reduced to four seasons and bidders asked to provide details of minimum guarantee and revenue share payments. In the event, not all bids carried minimum guarantees.

Bidders were asked to specify how many games they would ensure would be produced and distributed during each match round. Due to existing domestic broadcast rights and production duties held by Globo, the Brazilian commercial broadcaster will provide a clean signal for the Série A (until 2023) and the Série B (until 2022). The betting streams are to be made available to bookmakers in lower image quality and covering a maximum of the quarter of the screen.

The CBF and Brazilian clubs last year restarted the international rights sales process after the collapse of a proposed agreement with the Sport Promotion agency. That deal, which was backed by Swiss investment fund Ecotonian, covered a four-plus-six-year period and included exclusive local-language international media rights, non-exclusive Portuguese-language media rights and clubs’ pitchside advertising rights.

International rights were held by Globo between 2016 and 2018 under its domestic rights deals with Série A clubs. Globo also held pitch-side advertising rights to all 20 clubs on an individual basis. Production of the matches has been handled until now by Globo.

The initial offer from IMG, also from 2020 to 2024, did not provide a minimum guarantee, but was based on a commission-based model adopted instead, as exclusively reported by SportBusiness.

The first offer from TVN Sports was also for five seasons and did include a minimum guarantee element. IMG had lodged specific proposals over the marketing of the international broadcast, betting streaming, data and sponsorship rights.