Brazilian sports broadcaster Esporte Interativo will cease its television operations and move to a digital-only model as parent company, US media group Turner, seeks to introduce the ‘superstation’ concept to the domestic market.
Turner has announced that Esporte Interativo’s two channels, plus their production activities, will be deactivated in the next 40 days. The move comes as Turner attempts to strengthen the position of its TNT and Space channels in Brazil.
Esporte Interativo’s key sports content will move over to these channels, including the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A and Uefa Champions League club football competitions.
Esporte Interativo holds rights for seven Serie A clubs for the 2019 season – Atletico-PR, Bahia, Ceara, Internacional, Palmeiras, Parana and Santos.
Antonio Barreto, general manager of Turner Brasil, said: “By integrating the best of Esporte Interativo with TNT and Space, we will have the first ‘superstations’ for the Brazilian public, with the best of all genres, meeting the wishes of our fans, including live football, original series, programs of all varieties, Hollywood blockbusters and exclusive live events.”
He added: “Personally, and especially for our sports fans, it's hard to see the end of Esporte Interativo channels. But the decision will strengthen our brands and enable a better offer of sports on digital platforms and our direct relationship with the internet consumer, driven by the engagement of Esporte Interativo in these media.
“Sports audiences are clearly migrating to these platforms, and Turner is committed to leading this transformation in our market, the most important for the company after the United States.”
The Maquina do Esporte website said Turner’s decision has already seen 150 staff quit their jobs as of yesterday (Thursday).