International sports streaming platform DAZN has picked up exclusive rights in Italy to soccer’s top-tier Liga Portugal ahead of the upcoming 2023-24 season.

The deal, which will run through the 2025-26 season, will see DAZN air the best games each matchday during the Liga Portugal campaign. Its coverage will start from tomorrow (August 12) with Sporting Lisbon against Vizela. It will then show Porto’s match against Moreirense and Boavista versus Benfica (both on August 14).

The rights package also includes highlights of all matches of Liga Portugal.

DAZN holds a range of top-tier sports rights in Italy, most prominently domestically to men's soccer's Serie A and UEFA’s Women’s Champions League.

The new rights deal comes a week after it was reported RMC Sport, the French pay-TV channel, had dropped rights for Liga Portugal ahead of the 2023-24 season.

RMC Sport has shown Liga Portugal to French audiences since 2016, but its parent company Altice has now decided not to renew the deal for another season.

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International rights to Liga Portugal had been exclusively sold by the Sportfive agency, until the end of the 2022-23 season.

Pay-TV operator Sport TV is the domestic rightsholder of Liga Portugal and broadcasts the home matches of all clubs within the league with the exception of Benfica, whose games are shown by the club’s in-house cable and satellite channel BTV.

The broadcaster is also the league’s exclusive distributor of international media rights for the 2023-24 to 2025-26 seasons and, in February launched a tender process for interested networks.

In mid-July, Betclic, the online sports betting company, secured title sponsorship rights to the Portuguese league in a four-year deal brokered by global sports and entertainment agency IMG.

The tie-up, which starts with the upcoming 2023-24 season, will see the league commercially renamed Liga Portugal Betclic, and the pair will also collaborate on various corporate social responsibility projects through the Liga Foundation.

The 2023-24 Liga Portugal season is due to start on August 11 and will run until May 19, 2024.

Meanwhile, DAZN is continuing its diversification drive after launching new channels in Germany via Pluto TV, the free ad-supported streaming service of US media giant Paramount Global.

DAZN has launched two channels, focusing on overseas soccer and darts, respectively, and by the end of the month, it will launch two more channels focused on combat sports and women’s sports.

The four free-to-air channels will feature select live and non-live DAZN content on Pluto TV Germany.

Its DAZN International Football x Pluto TV channel is set to feature top-tier Spanish LaLiga, Italy’s Serie A, and France’s Ligue 1, with one fixture shown live and exclusively on Pluto TV, starting with tonight’s match between Sevilla and Valencia.

However, the channel will not feature the top-tier rights DAZN holds in Germany including domestic soccer’s Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League.

The darts channel, meanwhile, will feature selected tournaments from the Professional Darts Corporation starting with today’s NSW Darts Masters.

The DAZN Fights x Pluto TV channel will air boxing, mixed martial arts, and other combat sports, including action from the Professional Fighters League and the Muay Thai World Series. Due to Italy’s age restrictions, the channel will only show highlights from events between 10pm and 5am.

The women’s sports channel will offer live matches and highlights from soccer competitions including the UEFA Women’s Champions League and Women’s Bundesliga, as well as handball from the EHF Champions League and EHF European League, golf’s LPGA Tour, and boxing matches.

Image: Octavio Passos/Getty Images