Rede TV! teams up with new arrival DAZN to offer more FTA soccer in Brazil
Commercial broadcaster Rede TV! will be the Brazilian free-to-air home of live matches from the Copa Sudamericana, South American soccer’s secondary clubs competition, this year, and has also picked up rights to Italy’s Serie A, in sub-licensing deals with DAZN, the expanding international OTT subscription streaming platform.
It was announced today that Rede TV! will show 12 matches from the Copa Sudamericana in 2019, starting with both legs of the high-profile first-round tie between Brazil’s Corinthians and Racing Club of Argentina, the first of which takes place this Thursday.
All of the matches will be on Wednesdays or Thursdays, in the same 9.30pm kick-off slot, but not including the semi-finals or the final in Lima, Peru in November.
Brazil has a strong presence in this year’s Copa Sudamericana with Corinthians joined by Santos, Fluminense, Botafogo, Chapecoense and Bahia. Athletico Paranaense, another Brazilian club, were the champions in 2018.
DAZN holds the rights to the Copa Sudamericana for the next four years, but does not officially launch in the country until March, and has until now been streaming games from other competitions, including Italy’s Serie A and Coppa Italia, France’s Ligue 1 and England’s FA Cup, on its Facebook and YouTube pages on a free-to-view basis.
The Rede TV! deal for Serie A comprises 11 fixtures in the remainder of the 2018-19 season and 34 in the 2019-20 campaign.
These matches will be shown at 4.30pm on Saturdays, following English Premier League games Rede TV! is presently showing through a sub-licensing deal with pay-TV operator ESPN Brasil.
The acquisitions of Premier League, Copa Sudamericana and Serie A rights reflect a renewed interest in soccer at Rede TV!, which did not extend its agreement for Brazil’s second-tier Campeonato Brasileiro Serie B last year.
The broadcaster held selected Premier League rights until 2011 and is also a previous Serie A and Uefa Champions League rights-holder.
Franz Vacek, the head of journalism, sports and digital at RedeTV!, said: “Again RedeTV! innovates with a partnership between a free-to-air channel and a streaming application. With the arrival of the Sudamericana and the Italian championship, in addition to the Premier League, the channel has consolidated as one of the main players in the sports field.
“It is a milestone in my management at the forefront of sport and a satisfaction to be able to offer the best football in the world to our public.”
Johnny Devitt, director of marketing at DAZN, added: “This is an important strategic partnership that will enable millions of football fans to see their favourite teams and players for free. At the same time, the partnership will build the DAZN brand profile in homes across the country as the destination to see the championships. We are very excited about the Copa Sudamericana, as South American teams battle to win the prestigious trophy.”
DAZN announced its entry into Brazil, its ninth market, last November, armed with the rights to the Copa Sudamericana, from 2019 to 2022, and Italy’s Serie A and France’s Ligue 1, both until the end of the 2020-21 season.Rights to the Copa Sudamericana have been held by Fox Networks Group across Latin America (including Brazil) in recent seasons. However, lengthy negotiations over the rights undertaken last year by FC Diez Media – the joint venture between DAZN Group and IMG – did not produce a result.
DAZN is instead exploiting the rights in Brazil itself, with the approval of Conmebol, which had taken back the property. The launch of FC Diez Media followed on from IMG and DAZN Group’s swoop for broadcast and sponsorship rights to Conmebol’s club competitions in a four-year contract worth a minimum guarantee of $1.4 billion, or $350 million per season.
DAZN has not secured rights to South America's top-tier Copa Libertadores, however, after Fox agreed a four-year rights deal across Latin America (including Brazil).
DAZN went live in Japan, Germany, Austria and Switzerland in August 2016, before entering the Canadian market in 2017 and then Italy and USA in 2018.
The Spanish service will be officially launched in Madrid on 27 February.