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Globo at loggerheads with Turner as media-rights decree chaos continues

Brazilian media group Globo is engaged in a dispute with US-headquartered pay-television broadcaster Turner ahead of the new Serie A season as issues around the controversial ‘PM 984’ media-rights decree continue to flare up.

The commercial broadcaster has written strongly-worded letters to both Turner and Red Bull Bragantino, a team which currently holds no deal with any broadcaster, that it will take them to court if they broadcast Serie A matches.

The latest controversy around PM984 has risen after country’s football authority, the CBF, released the calendar for the upcoming season starting on August 8. The calendar appears to suggest that Turner will be able to broadcast matches from the country’s top flight which it would have been unable to prior to the introduction of the provisional measure.

PM984/2020 was introduced in June by Brazilan president Jair Bolsonaro which has temporarily amended the law, enabling the club playing at home to have sole discretion over the sale of its media rights. Prior to the introduction of this provisional measure, both teams had been required to agree a broadcast deal for a match to be aired.

The decree, issued just over a month ago, is to remain in effect for 60 days from its commencement and then another 60-day period but still requires ratification from the Brazilian Congress in order to become law.

The decree has led to legal tussles involving Globo, the Carioca State Championship and Flamengo in the last month.

Globo issued a statement on the issue which read: “Globo sent a notification to Bragantino and Turner, with a copy for the clubs that have a contract with that company and for CBF, making it clear that it is ready to take appropriate legal measures to protect its exclusive rights, should an attempt be made to violate them by broadcasting games from clubs that have negotiated their rights with the company, albeit as visitors.

“Likewise, Globo will respect the contracts signed and will not broadcast games on pay TV for which the clubs that signed Turner are visitors, even if the principals are clubs that have a contract with Globo for the same platform. Nor will it be showing Bragantino games.

“Globo trusts that Turner, a member of an economic group with extensive experience in the production and exhibition of broadcast content, protected by copyright, will not wish to associate its name and reputation with the violation of these same rights.”

The measure has the overwhelming support of the Serie A clubs with 16 out of 20 throwing their backing behind it to be ratified in law.

Globo is the dominant broadcaster of domestic Brazilian football, holding free-to-air and pay-per-view rights to all 20 Campeonato Serie A clubs and pay-television rights of 12 Serie A clubs. US broadcaster Turner pay-television rights to the remaining eight clubs.