Facebook signs off Copa Libertadores deal across South America
Facebook, the social media platform, has strengthened its soccer portfolio in South America, signing off a rights deal for the Copa Libertadores, the continent's top clubs competition, over the next four years.
The agreement to show Thursday night matches between 2019 and 2022 in Brazil was already known, but the deal with Conmebol, the South American soccer confederation, actually covers all 10 member nations.
In Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, the agreement includes 46 games per year: 27 games shown exclusively on Facebook Watch every Thursday; and 19 games on Tuesdays and Wednesdays simulcast with pay-TV's Fox Sports.
It will also show the final.
In Brazil, Facebook will stream the 27 Thursday night games, but will not have rights to the final, which will be shown by the other rights-holders in the country, Fox and Globo, which will also televise the Tuesday and Wednesday matches.
Juan Emilio Roa, club commercial director of Conmebol, said: "We are very happy to add to Facebook, the social network with the greatest reach in South America and the world, as one of our partners for the transmission of our prestigious Conmebol Libertadores. This alliance with Facebook is another step in our effort to bring football to the last corner of South America."
Dan Reed, global vice-president of sports at Facebook, added: "We are excited that Facebook Watch has become a new home for the Conmebol Libertadores over the next four years. We want to bring this experience to the widest possible audience, allowing fans to get together to watch live games easily, and we hope that this partnership with Conmebol will help reinvent the experience of watching football."
Copa Libertadores rights for the 2019-22 cycle are being sold by FC Diez Media, the joint venture set up by IMG, the international sports marketing agency, and DAZN, the digital sports content and media group.
In August, Facebook announced a deal with Uefa to become the exclusive free-to-air home in Spanish-speaking Latin America of the Champions League, European soccer's elite clubs competition.
The agreement covers the 2018-19 to 2020-21 cycle and excludes Brazil, albeit as reported by Sportcal earlier this year, Facebook and Esporte Interativo, the sports broadcaster, moved for rights in the country to both the Champions League and second-tier Europa League.