Eleven secures further Pro League deals with Voo and VRT
Eleven Sports, the international subscription broadcaster, has signed off content and distribution deals with Voo, the telecoms firm, and VRT, the public-service broadcaster, respectively for Belgian soccer’s Pro League.
Voo has secured a carriage deal to show the top domestic league for the next five years while VRT has landed Flemish-language highlights rights.
In addition, Eleven has also signed carriage agreements with Télésat and TV Vlaanderen, but a deal with major telecoms firm Telenet remains outstanding.
All deals were all struck prior to the start of the 2020-21 season over the weekend.
Voo will show Pro League matches via its Voo Sport package, which is priced at €4.99 ($6) a month.
VRT has retained the rights to continue broadcasting its Pro League magazine programme on Monday evenings.
The public-service broadcaster has also acquired live radio rights on its Sporza radio station and will provide highlights clips from every match day via the Sporza website and app on Sunday evenings.
VRT has additionally picked up rights to show highlights from the Women’s Super League.
Under the deals, both Voo and VRT’s broadcasters and commentators will also feature on Eleven’s Pro League coverage.
Eleven, which landed Pro League rights in a five-year agreement worth €103 million, is still yet to secure a deal for rights to Dutch-language highlights, which were held by commercial broadcaster Vier in the previous three-year cycle.
Dutch-language highlights from the first fixtures of the new season was shown for free by Eleven on its OTT platform, its dedicated new Pro League linear channel and on its YouTube channel, as well as on the league’s official website.
It is believed that talks with Vier, as well as other commercial broadcasters, are ongoing.
Last week, Eleven agreed a sub-licensing deal with RTBF, the country’s French-language public-service broadcaster, last week to offer highlights of the league.
Eleven, which will have Pro League rights until the end of the 2024-25 season, also has distribution deals in place with telecoms firms Proximus and Orange.
However, it failed to strike an 11th hour deal with fellow Telenet after carriage talks broke down.
Telenet, Proximus and Voo were recently ousted by Eleven as the rights-holder of the Pro League and the former was unable to provide coverage of the opening matchday of the new season for its subscribers.
Despite its desire to strike a carriage deal for the Pro League, Telenet is still involved in a bitter legal dispute with Belgian soccer’s top-flight as it was seeking to launch arbitration proceedings in an effort to recoup rights fee payments made before the coronavirus-enforced cancellation of the 2019-20 season.
Telenet, Proximus and Voo paid a combined €80 million per year for their Pro League rights, and Telenet is believed to be seeking to recoup its share of the €23 million final rights fee instalment.