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Globo wants R$2m penalty for Flamengo as Carioca broadcast dispute heats up

Flamengo's Pedro Guilherme Abreu celebrates after scoring a goal. (Photo by Cristina Vega Rhor / AFP) (Photo by CRISTINA VEGA RHOR/AFP via Getty Images)

Brazilian commercial broadcaster Globo has stepped up its opposition to Flamengo broadcasting any of the club’s matches in the Rio de Janeiro state championship on its own TV channel by filing a legal appeal.

The broadcaster is calling for Flamengo to be handed a R$2m (€332,800/$374,000) penalty if the side broadcasts its opening Carioca State Championship match on July 1 against Boavista, according to details of the legal complaint reported by the Jornal O Dia newspaper in Rio de Janeiro.

Globo appealed to the Justice Tribunal of the State of Rio de Janeiro in a bid to prevent Flamengo from broadcasting matches on its FlaTV channel.

This comes after Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro last week issued a decree that would see home teams in Brazil take full control of their media rights without the need to negotiate with the away team in situations where the two teams had individually-negotiated agreements with different broadcasters.

Globo holds individual rights deals with 11 other clubs in the state competition but failed to strike a free-to-air, pay-television or pay-per-view rights agreement with Flamengo for its home matches.

Globo has been angered by the government decree issued by Bolsonaro and continues to dispute its legal interpretations, underlining the validity of its existing contracts already in place with other clubs.

The broadcaster said last week: “Globo does not hold the rights to Flamengo’s games and therefore will not broadcast them. Likewise, Flamengo will not be able to broadcast any of its games…because Globo owns the rights of the other clubs participating in the Carioca Championship.”

Globo’s filing described the government’s decree as “frighteningly unconstitutional” and that “it is hard to believe that it was [decided] so irresponsibly,” according to details published by the UOL portal in Brazil.

The decree is to remain in effect for the 60 days and then another 60-day period but still requires ratification from the Brazilian Congress in order to become 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.