Eleven retains Champions League rights in Portugal and LaLiga in Belgium
By Jonathan Rest
Eleven Sports, the international subscription broadcaster, has today retained rights in Portugal to the Uefa Champions League, European soccer's elite clubs competition, for another three seasons.
The broadcaster has also secured rights in Belgium to Spain's LaLiga in a five-year renewal.
The agreement in Portugal also covers the annual Super Cup, played between the winners of the Champions League and secondary Europa League, and runs from 2021-22 to 2023-24.
The contract covers 138 Champions League games per season, as well as highlights and magazine programming.
Matches will continue to be carried on Eleven's linear TV channels and over-the-top streaming platform.
Uefa and Team Marketing, its sales agency, issued the tenders in Portugal in mid-October, with first round bids due on 18 November.
Eleven is understood to have fought off a strong bid from commercial broadcaster SIC to retain the rights.
Jorge Pavão de Sousa, managing director of Eleven Sports Portugal, said: “The Champions League is the best and most competitive of the football competitions in the world, so keeping this competition in our portfolio demonstrates not only the confidence that Uefa continues to place in us, but also the solidity and value proposition we want continue to maintain and deliver to all sports fans in Portugal.”
Eleven is once again likely to sub-license out a package of free-to-air Champions League rights in the next cycle.
Since 2018-19, commercial network TVI has shown one game per matchweek featuring a Portuguese team in the Champions League and the final, in accordance with Portuguese regulations.
FC Porto are Portugal's sole representatives in this season's Champions League group stages.
Eleven replaced Sport TV, the pay-TV broadcaster, as the main Champions League rights-holder in Portugal for the 2018-19 to 202-21 cycle.
Sport TV did pick up extensive Europa League rights in Portugal in the present cycle, with one game per match week and highlights shown on SIC.
Eleven renewed LaLiga rights in Portugal until 2023-24 in August, and it emerged today that the broadcaster has now kept hold of the Spanish top-flight in Belgium until the end of the 2025-26 campaign.
LaLiga and its partner Mediapro, the Spanish media rights and production agency, launched the sales process in Belgium, and six other European countries for the 2021-22 to 2025-26 period, on 7 September, with bids due on 5 October.
LaLiga has been taking advantage of amendments to the text of Spain’s Royal Decree governing the sale of centralised rights, which had previously limited it to signing three-year deals in Europe, albeit broadcasters do not have to commit to five-year contracts, as was the case with Eleven in Portugal.