January 31 – Brazilian giants Flamengo have taken legal steps against broadcast behemoth TV Globo over the league’s broadcast rights contract. Earlier this season, Flamengo and Globo fell out over a rights deal for Rio de Janeiro’s state championship.
The Rio club filed a lawsuit Globo over alleged changes in the league contract. The Brazilian top flight kick off their campaigns in May, once the state championships have concluded.
Flamengo argue that the rights are under-valued and that they are being excluded from free-to-air channels in favour of Globo’s pay platform, a move the club says is anti-competitive and manoeuvring against Esporte Interativo, a channel that holds the rights for a limited number of top-flight teams.
“Precisely because Grupo Globo is now facing competition for the broadcast of certain club games from those who have not acquired broadcasting rights for closed TV, the defendant acts in abuse of rights and breaches of good faith by manoeuvring the distribution of broadcasts between different media formats, so that Flamengo’s games are not shown on open and closed TV channels, but on the pay-per-view system, when there is a chance that the defendant will provide space, on open TV, to broadcast the same games shown by its competitor Esporte Interativo, with the purpose of reducing its exclusive audience on closed TV,” wrote Flamengo in the petition.
In response, TV Globo said it believes in a “consensual solution” with Brazil’s most popular club.
At state level, the club’s negotiations with Globo for the Carioca championship broke down over money issues.
Flamengo’s deal with Globo ended last year and the club, and given its 2019 success and exposure, wanted to renegotiate the terms of the deal, even if they have started the regional competition with an U-20 team. Flamengo demanded 80 million reais, whereas Globo offered just 18 million reais, the same amount Rio’s three main other clubs – Botafogo, Vasco da Gama, and Fluminense – received.
As a consequence of the disagreement, the 12 smaller clubs in the championship stand to lose a total sum of €3.9 million. The three other major Rio clubs have their TV income protected.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1638364865labto1638364865ofdlr1638364865owedi1638364865sni@o1638364865fni1638364865