Portuguese operators agree on sport distribution
May 19, 2016
From Branislav Pekic in Rome
Portuguese telecommunications operators NOS and Vodafone signed a content distribution agreement that includes all national and international sport content rights currently owned or to be acquired by either of the parties.
This deal, covering several sports seasons, ensures that both companies will make available to each other all football transmission rights, as well as all transmission and distribution rights to sports and/or club channels that each party holds at any point in time.
Effective from the 2016/17 season, the agreement will ensure that customers of both operators will have access to the Benfica Club channel and to the Benfica home matches.
The deal is open to other telecom operators, primarily Portugal Telecom’s MEO as well as Cabovisão, with the goal of making available access to relevant content to all.
So far, NOS has signed TV rights agreements with the Benfica, Sporting, Braga, Marítimo and Belenenses football clubs, among others, while Meo closed a deal with FC Porto (including the rights to its Porto Canal club channel).
Portugal’s Competition Authority (AdC) has welcomed the agreement signed by NOS and Vodafone, stating that it represents a solution that seems to respond to its concerns with regard to exclusivity contracts and the duration of the contracts with football clubs.
The COO of Altice (owner of Portugal Telecom/Meo), Michel Combes, recently stated that no operator should remain with exclusive rights for broadcasting content. He added that PT is prepared to offer its content to other operators.