The 112 games in the Brasileirao, the first division Brazilian soccer tournament, are owned by Globo until 2018. The giant owns the exclusive rights to the games, as well as complementary shows (analysis, best plays) and the state championships in Rio and San Pablo.
Globo has partnered with companies like BeIN Sports, GolTV, Mediapro and SportsMax to increase the distribution of its Brazilian soccer package, which reaches 138 territories around the world.
The 60th edition of the Brasileirao, whose official name is Campeonato Brasileiro Série A ("Brazilian Championship Series A") began on May 14 and, for the first time in years, it is only available on Globo's screen in Brazil, after Band announced it wasn't going to be able to broadcast the games.
In a release published by Band, the network thanked Globo for the efforts made to prevent the situation, in the "upmost spirit of cooperation", but regretted that the economic crisis left no other option that to stop offering the games.
During the last decade, Globo sold some game packages -not just the Brasileirao, but also state tournaments and the Brazil cup- to Bandeirantes to air on broadcast TV.
Globo's monopolistic stands on local soccer, in which it invests an estimated 1 billion reales a year between rights, licencing and production, has become a case study for Brazil's Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), which announced that it a few days, it will analyze the legal boundaries in the situation.
The fact that CADE waited this long to act on it has raised a few eyebrows.
The beginning of the duopoly
Turner's arrival in the local market through its network Esporte Interativo, has dismantled Globo's plans, which come the 2019 season, will no longer own all the rights to local soccer. The Brazilian giant pretended to extend its current contracts for two more years.
Esporte Interativo has signed deals with six clubs in the first division (Santos, Bahia and Atlético Paranense, Coritiba, Inter and Ponte Petra) and another 14 in the B series. Both companies are fighting for the rest of the rights, with teams like Flamengo, Palmeiras and Gremio still "unsigned" by either one of them. It is estimated that Turner could keep at least 12 of the teams that will potentially be part of the first division by 2019.
This means that those games between a team signed by Turner (Esporte Interativo) and a team signed by Globo (SporTV/Globosat), such as Vasco or Botafogo, they will have to come to an agreement to decide who will offer the game.
As an example, in Europe the games between teams signed by different networks end up being aired by the network who has the team that's playing as the local. Another option would be that they both aired the games.
An interesting thing to be considered is the impact that this competition between two networks may have in the PPV model, a key part of the deals signed by Globo until 2018.
The results obtained by Esporte Interativo are part of Turner's goal to become a top player in the South American soccer world. In addition to what it's doing in Brazil, the company stands as one of the main candidates to win the rights to Argentinean soccer.