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CBF meets next week as fourth bidder eyes Brazilian league international rights

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

A fourth company has submitted a proposal for international rights to Brazilian football’s Campeonato Brasileiro Série A from 2020 to 2024, SportBusiness understands.

It is understood that the five-season offer from a boutique sports marketing agency involves former media-rights sales executives at leading agencies.

The IMG agency, Brazilian streaming platform TVN Sports and Brazilian betting operator Betsul were already known to be vying for the contract.

The emergence of a fourth bidder in the process comes as the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) and the clubs prepare to meet in the first half of next week with a view to awarding the rights.

The proposal from the fourth bidder is thought to include a minimum guarantee payment and covers rights to both the top-tier Série A and second-tier Série B.

In the process, the CBF is representing the clubs ahead of the expected formation of a clubs body.

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

The offer from TVN Sports is also for five seasons and is understood to involve work with an independent sports rights consultant on distribution. It does includes a minimum guarantee element.

SportBusiness understands that minimum guarantee offer to be R$5m ($1.1m/€952,000) per year for the Série A international rights and R$1m per year for the Série B international rights. Those totals are dependent on all 20 clubs from each division signing up. A deduction of R$300,000 per team would be made for each top-tier club – and R$60,000 for each Série B club – not part of the agreement.

Production costs are also thought to have been built in to the TVN Sports proposal with matches produced for an over-the-top streaming platform and betting streaming purposes. Matches would also be produced to a necessary standard to sell free-to-air and pay-television rights internationally.

A revenue-share model is also proposed by TVN Sports for the Série A sales, with a 70-30 split (in favour of the clubs) if revenues between R$10m and R$20m are generated, a 60-40 split if revenues hit between R$20m and R$40m, and a 50-50 split if revenues exceed R$40m.

TVN Sports is already involved in streaming Brazilian football through its rights deal for the Campeonato Catarinense, the state league in Santa Catarina.

IMG has lodged specific proposals over the marketing of the international broadcast, betting streaming, data and sponsorship rights.

This model, it is thought, would provide IMG with a 20-per-cent sales commission on net revenues up to $5m (€4.56m), a 25-per-cent commission on revenues between $5m and $10m, and a 30-per-cent commission on revenues above $10m. The agency has provided an annual forecast of projected revenues within its proposal.

The offer from Betsul, which recently launched in Brazil, further underlines the appetite for the betting streaming rights, a feature of all four proposals. IMG Arena, the agency’s betting arm, would be expected to sell the betting rights to its bookmaker clients if IMG is successful in securing a contract.

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, the heavyweight Brazilian media company and domestic rights-holder, 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.

A sizeable sponsorship rights inventory to be provided by the clubs also forms part of the IMG proposal. This includes the commercialisation of a league title sponsorship, category sponsorship and a presenting partner package.