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Soccer - 15 Oct 2021
Disney, the US media giant, has struck a broadcast rights deal in Brazil for the upcoming 2021 edition of the Copa Libertadores Feminina, the top-tier pan-continental women’s soccer club competition in South America.
The majority of the matches to which Disney has now secured rights, from this season’s competition, will be shown by the heavyweight’s pay-TV linear broadcasters in the country, Fox Sports and ESPN Brasil, once the 2021 Libertadores Feminina starts on 3 November.
In addition, all games will be streamed live on Star+, Disney’s recently-launched global over-the-top service, through the group stages and knockout rounds until the final on 21 November in Montevideo, Uruguay.
The rights have been secured by Disney through a deal with Conmebol, South American soccer’s governing body, and FC Diez Media, the commercial agency which is that organisation's rights partner.
This marks the first time Disney has secured Brazilian rights to the women’s competition, which started in 2009 and next season will contain 16 teams.
Corinthians, one of the pre-tournament favourites, will represent Brazil in the women’s Libertadores next month, alongside Avaí Kindermann and Ferroviária, with Brazilian teams having won seven of the last 10 editions.
Coverage throughout Brazil will also be provided by the Facebook Watch service, as a part of the content deal between the social media giant and Conmebol, while the pay-per-view in-house Conmebol TV service will also stream the competition live.
For the first time, the Copa Libertadores Feminina final will take place during the same week as the men’s Libertadores and Sudamericana finals, with those latter finals to be held on 27 November.
The acquisition of these rights adds to what is already a substantial women’s soccer portfolio for Disney in Brazil.
The media giant holds rights to the top-tier women’s domestic leagues from Mexico, England, Italy and Spain, as well as the English and Spanish knockout cup competitions.
Rights in Brazil to the men's Copa Libertadores, meanwhile, are jointly held by free-to-air broadcaster SBT and Fox.
Last month, FC Diez Media officially signed off to retain its role as the commercial rights holder to South American club soccer competitions for the next cycle, between 2023 and 2026, and also launched sponsorship packages for the upcoming 2022 Copa Libertadores Feminina.
Packages for next month's competition are split into two different tiers, global sponsors and national partners, with Conmebol having said it is expecting to attract “top global brands as well as regional leaders” for the women’s edition and revealing that 100 per cent of the sponsorship revenue will be reinvested into the women’s game.
New sponsors will also benefit from the “360-degree sponsorship concept” introduced by FC Diez Media for Conmebol club competitions in 2019, which offers wide association rights, high-visibility in-stadia branding, exclusive broadcast assets, digital branded content and activation opportunities.
The continental body has also said that, for the first time, it is opening up the opportunity for brands that are currently non-sponsors of its main men’s club competitions to become official partners of the Copa Libertadores Feminina.
Santander is the first global brand confirmed as an official sponsor of the women’s Libertadores for the next three seasons.
FC Diez Media was founded in 2018 as a joint venture between IMG, the international sports and entertainment agency, and Perform (now DAZN Group), the digital sports media specialist, after the two companies jointly acquired rights to Conmebol competitions from 2019 to 2022.
IMG took full control of FC Diez Media early last year when it bought DAZN’s 50 per cent stake.