Mediapro and Pitch collaborate on sale of US rights to South American qualifiers
Mediapro, the Spanish media rights and production agency, and Pitch International, the UK-based sports marketing agency, are to jointly sell exclusive media rights in USA to soccer's forthcoming South American World Cup 2022 qualifiers.
The rights will include matches of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela in the 10-team competition organised by Conmebol.
Argentine sports rights agency Torneos and Pitch had previously created a joint venture to market the rights of Argentina and Brazil qualifiers that they respectively hold.
Meanwhile, Mediapro, which acquired rights to the qualifiers of Bolivia, Paraguay and Chile, has partnered with other rights-holders in CaracolTV (Colombia), Servisky (Ecuador), GolTV (Peru) and On Site Producciones (Venezuela).
Mediapro and Pitch said the new arrangement brings together all the rights-holders to allow for a “co-ordinated approach” to the US market, with the qualifiers set to kick off on 26 March.
Mauricio Correa, general director rights LATAM at Mediapro, said: “The South American qualifiers have a strong following in USA, and Mediapro and Pitch International taking a collaborative approach with the rights distribution will allow fans in the region to see more matches and benefit all of the federations involved.”
Sunil Kaikini, managing director of rights at Pitch, added: “We’re pleased to be working with Mediapro and all of the other rights-holders for what will be one of the most competitive and highly-anticipated qualification campaigns of the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022.”
Uruguay is the only South American country not included in the package as the AUF, the national soccer federation, has yet to sell its rights.
It was reported last month that the Uruguayan arm of Telefónica, the Spanish telecoms giant, and Servisky, the Ecuadorean media company, were targeting the domestic rights to Uruguay's home games in the World Cup qualifiers.
The AUF is marketing the domestic rights to Uruguay’s qualifiers separately from the international rights, for which bids were received last September from Servisky, Mediapro and Torneos.
With negotiations going down to the wire, Uruguay's El Observador newspaper claimed this month that the AUF was now targeting between $23 million and $25 million from the sale of rights to its World Cup qualifers, up from the $17.5 million raised from the 2018 competition.
The top four teams in the South American qualifiers will go through to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, with the fifth-placed team contesting an inter-confederation play-off.