Brazil fines SKY $1.5MN, takes Sports+ off its schedule


Juan Fernandez Gonzalez

| 20 August 2015

Brazil's film and audiovisual authority, Ancine, has fined pay-TV operator Sky $1.5 million due to irregularities with the network Sports+.

After investigating the network, Ancine concluded that Sky created a company in Uruguay called Time Out SA with the sole aim of programming Sports+, thus breaking Brazilian audiovisual regulations. The channel, which mostly covers Brazilian sporting competitions, is available on all Sky pay-TV packages throughout the country.

In addition to the fine, Ancine has determined that Sports+, which has been operating since 2012, must be removed from Sky's schedules in adherence with the pay-TV law which bans public interest companies such as TV operators from programming any type of channel in order to guarantee free competition and avoid excessive market concentration.

The main reason behind Ancine's decision was that the authority believes it proved Time Out SA is not an independent company, as it's completely dependent, both financially and operationally, on Sky.

Now Sky has until the end of August to appeal the decision after which time the fine has to be paid. Sky will then have an extra month to take Sports+ off the schedule.