Globo’s power under threat as CBF match schedule sees TV rights split

July 23 – The Brazilian FA (CBF) has published a tentative match calendar for the Brazilian top flight with a TV schedule that will intensify the on-going domestic TV rights battle. 

The new broadcast schedule suggests that the first ten rounds of the domestic league will be broadcast on open, closed and pay-per-view television networks, which could imply that the dominance of TV Globo, the broadcast behemoth on which the revenue model of Brazilian football has relied for decades, is about to unravel.

Palmeiras vs Vasco Da Gama is one of the matches that illustrates the divisions in the broadcast landscape. The Sao Paulo club has an agreement with Turner and its TNT channel whereas the Rio club has links to TV Globo. Turner has deals with Athletico, Bahia, Ceará, Coritiba, Fortaleza, Palmeiras and Santos.

Last month, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro signed provisional decree 984/20 (PM), which dramatically altered how media rights are sold in Brazilian football by determining that the rights to broadcast or reproduce sports games belong to the club that plays at home.

Club football rights are sold on an individual basis in Brazil, but up until PM 984 a broadcaster was required to agree a deal with both the home and away team in order to show a live match. Rio giants Flamengo lobbied in Brasilia for the decree, which is valid for up to 120 days, to be introduced. The decree only applies to situations where no rights contract is in place. Flamengo used the new PM to stream matches of the Carioca championship on FlaTV via Youtube.

Globo has been widely critical of Bolsonaro’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the president signing the PM has widely been perceived as a move to strike back at Globo at a time when the broadcaster’s dominant market position has been severely weakened by the Covid-19 crisis.

In a statement, Globo said that it will take appropriate legal measures to prevent Turner from broadcasting matches that Globo considers as a violation of its broadcast rights.

Brazil’s top flight is due to kick off on August 9.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1603661773labto1603661773ofdlr1603661773owedi1603661773sni@o1603661773fni1603661773