ESPN treats Brazilians to Champions League action
Juan Pablo Conti ©RapidTVNews | 04-10-2011 The world's most prestigious club football competition, the UEFA Champions League, will be brought to Brazilian TV audiences by ESPN and Esporte Interativo, starting next season.
The two networks managed to secure the final remnant of the broadcast rights for the 2012 to 2015 seasons from UEFA. They join Globo, which a few weeks earlier was confirmed as the country's winner of the rights to the same four seasons of the competition among terrestrial broadcasters.
As part of that agreement, Globo will let TV Bandeirantes carry one of Wednesdays' games (with TV Bandeirantes getting first choice), until the tournament reaches the quarterfinals stage. From that point onwards, both stations will broadcast one live game each on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
ESPN will spread its coverage of the event across all three of its Brazilian pay-TV channels (ESPN, ESPN Brasil and ESPN HD). The American sports network will show a minimum of two live games both on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, as well as the lucrative Champions League Final in May.
On the other hand, Esporte Interativo (a sports-only terrestrial broadcaster launched in 2007) renewed its right to carry the best one of Tuesdays' live matches up until the quarterfinals. Afterwards, the station will only offer live coverage of the second-best of each day's games.
All broadcast rights were handed on a neutral-platform basis. This means each broadcaster will be able to distribute the content not only via conventional video networks but also via the Internet, with access devices including both computers and portable gadgets.