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Altice Portugal suspends football payments

April 29, 2020

From Branislav Pekic in Rome

Altice Portugal has suspended payment of TV rights fees to Portuguese football clubs as matches from the two top divisions remain suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In an interview with local radio station Antena 1, CEO Alexandre Fonseca explained that regular payments were made for March, although football matches were played only until the mid-March.

He pointed out that, since there were no matches in April, “it obviously made no sense to pay for goods or services that were not being delivered, stressing that Altice Portugal intends to pay for the rights again as soon as the championships are resumed.

Fonseca rejected proposals such as the free-to-air transmission of football matches, but said Altice Portugal is prepared to ‘work together with its partners’ and will not renegotiate existing contracts.

Meanwhile, in Italy, the sixth and last instalment of the annual TV rights to the Serie A, amounting to €162 million (€230 million including the international TV rights), is due for payment on May 1st.

According to local media reports, Sky Italia is willing to pay the sum due, but is asking a €120 million discount for the next season (equal to 15% of the total), while both rival DAZN and international rights partner IMG are seeking a postponement of the last instalment.

Before the stop due to the coronavirus pandemic, 256 Serie A matches were completed (67.4 per cent of the total), of which Sky Italia broadcast 180 and DAZN the remaining 76.

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