Published: 17.29 Europe/London, June 10, 2011

The Jupiler League, the main Belgian football competition, has divided the broadcast rights to the live games between cable and IPTV, with contracts going to Belgacom TV, Telenet (Flanders) and VOO (Wallonia). Until now, Belgacom TV owned exclusive rights.

Following a tendering procedure, Telenet today has managed to acquire a number of exclusive pay television rights to broadcast the Belgian football competition during the next three seasons. This allows Telenet to present the top three matches live and complete per match day on its Prime Sport channel.

Telenet said in statement that is very pleased that, after six years, it is once more able to offer its customers the best and most important matches in Belgian football.

Telenet tendered in partnership with VOO and with RTBF and Vmma and will broadcast the Dutch language version, while the Belgian operator VOO serving the French language market will broadcast the French language version. Likewise, RTBF will broadcast the capsule reports for Walloon and Vmma for Flanders.

Belgacom tendered via its fully owned subsidiary Skynet, Skynet iMotion Activitie. The oprator has acquired the rights to all five Saturday matches and will broadcast these on its IPTV platform. In a statement, Belgacom regretted the fact that the Jupiler League is now split up between two operators and, as a result, customers wishing to see all matches will now need to buy subscriptions to two different operatrors and have two set-top boxes on their TV.

Telenet will ask Studio A to produce the television broadcasts. “Our customers have repeatedly told us directly that they would appreciate it very much if Telenet too would broadcast the Belgian football competition,” said Duco Sickinghe, CEO of Telenet, in a statement. “For that reason we did our utmost to satisfy their demands, and financially we made an effort not only to acquire a number of Belgian football rights, but will also offer top-class international football as well on Prime Sport.”

Telenet was strongly in favour of a non-exclusive tendering and distribution of football rights, because then every Flemish football lover would get a chance to enjoy Belgian football through his trusted TV provider. In that context, Telenet made a substantial tender for non-exclusive television rights, for which there turned out to be insufficient support.