Tenfield poised to sign off deal for Uruguay’s World Cup qualifiers

(Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

The Uruguayan Football Federation (AUF) is poised to sign off on a broadcast rights deal with the Tenfield agency for Uruguay’s home 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifying matches.

Final terms over a deal worth $20m (€17m) were being negotiated over the weekend and in time for a contract to be signed ahead of Uruguay’s home qualifier against Chile this Thursday, according to Uruguay’s El Observador newspaper.

The AUF had considered broadcasting the matches on its own AUFTV streaming platform but would have been faced with organising and investing in production while trying to sell a product during the tough conditions posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The proposed agreement with Tenfield, which operates the VTV linear pay-television channels, would cover Uruguay’s nine home qualifying matches in the Conmebol region. For Uruguay’s away matches, Tenfield would need to negotiate with the agency that holds the rights.

A sales process initiated at the start of the year by the AUF was scrapped and as the Conmebol-zone qualifiers were pushed back from their original March start date as a result of Covid-19.

The Full Play agency held the international rights to Uruguay’s nine home qualifying games for the 2018 World Cup, paying $6m.

Under that agreement, Full Play, as the major distributor of World Cup qualifying games in the Conmebol zone, gave the AUF the broadcast rights in Uruguay to 81 qualifiers played elsewhere in South America. These rights were subsequently sold on by the national federation to the Tenfield agency in a wider package for $12m.

In October last year, Tenfield acquired rights to the Uruguayan national football team’s four remaining international friendlies in 2019.

Tenfield is also the long-term holder of rights to Uruguayan club matches and its current agreement runs until 2025.