Global broadcaster Eleven Sports has finalised ‘landmark’ carriage deals with all four TV operators in Portugal – Altice, Nos, Nowo and Vodafone - ahead of the last 16 of the Uefa Champions League.
The long-term partnerships mean that Eleven will be available for purchase in as many as 3.9 million Portuguese homes, achieving 100 per cent pay-TV distribution in the country. All of the network’s content will be accessible via the four platforms for €9.99 per month or €99.99 annually, mirroring the cost of signing up to the company’s streaming service in Portugal.
The confirmation comes after it was first reported last week that Eleven was in talks with a number of Portuguese telecommunications companies over expanding its distribution in the country.
The agreement will be activated immediately, starting with Tuesday’s Champions League tie between reigning Portuguese champions FC Porto and Italian side AS Roma, as well as French giants Paris Saint-Germain’s trip to Old Trafford to play a resurgent Manchester United.
“This is a significant moment in our development as a group, which also establishes Eleven Sports as a leading player in Portugal for the long term,” said Eleven’s executive chairman and group chief executive Marc Watson. “We have great content and a great local team in Portugal and we are producing the best ever coverage of the Uefa Champions League and our other properties. The future in this market is very bright.”
Eleven made its move into Portugal in May last year after securing exclusive rights to the Champions League and La Liga, Spanish soccer’s top tier. Since then, it has added exclusive coverage of more top-flight soccer in the Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and the Scottish Premiership, as well as the National Football League (NFL), the Formula One motorsport series and Liga Endesa basketball.
“Our strategy has always been to be platform agnostic and to be available to all customers whether they want to watch online, through apps or on a traditional TV,” added Jorge P Sousa, managing director for Eleven Sports in Portugal. “With these agreements, we are fulfilling this commitment and making our premium content widely available and easily accessible for the customer at a very competitive price.”
The news comes as a boost to Eleven after it was forced to hand over its rights in the UK to both Dutch soccer’s Eredivisie and Italian top flight Serie A. That move came as a direct consequence of the network ending its partnership with IMG, the agency in charge of managing those rights, and will see Premier Sports take over the coverage in March.
Prior to that announcement, Eleven lost its UK rights to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) after failing to secure a carriage deal with a linear broadcaster. Despite La Liga now being the network’s only live offering in the UK, the company has vowed to continue showing Spanish soccer’s top flight until at least the end of the season and said it ‘will continue to look for new rights opportunities to complement action from the Spanish league’.