In a first for football and broadcast industry, Portuguese Football Federation has become the first national governing body for the sport to launch its own television channel.
The channel has gone on air on Thursday, August 1. With the production set up at the Portugal Football Federation studios at the Cidade do Futebol in Lisbon, the channel started its operation with the broadcast of a promotional clip Portuguese football legend and national football team captain Cristiano Ronaldo.
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InsideSport.co has reported in June last year about Portugal Football Federations plans to have its own television channel.
Top football clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, FC Porto, SL Benfica, Sportig CP, Celtic, Barcelona and Real Madrid have their own television channels, but for a national football federation, Portugal has become the trend setter.
The new channel will cover live matches featuring Portuguese football’s national youth, women’s, beach and futsal teams. The channel has also acquired rights to the Campeonato de Portugal, the third-tier of Portuguese club football, as well as highlights from all of its coverage, sports business news platform Sportspromedia.com has reported.
The channel at this stage does not own rights to broadcast Premeira Liga and the Segunda Divisão Portuguesa, the nation’s top two club competitions. It will also not be able to broadcast national men’s football matches as the rights for the present cycle are already.
It does, however, include non-competitive matches played by overseas clubs who feature Portuguese players, including a pre-season friendly between Premier League side Brighton and Hove Albion and La Liga outfit Valencia on 2nd August.
It is not yet clear whether the channel will do the same for Juventus matches starring Ronaldo in action for the Serie A club.
Canal 11, earlier scheduled for the launch in last month, operations were delayed by several weeks as the channel needed more tech checks before going on air.
The federation has also said it saw an opportunity to coincide its launch with the start of the new European football season and the Portuguese Super Cup, which will be played between Benfica and Sporting Lisbon on 4th August.
“It is a project that aims to promote, protect and develop football, offer excellence in our content and also contribute to a more culturally and socially responsible country overall,” sportspromedia has quoted FPF president Fernando Gomes as saying.
“We would like to thank all of the people who have supported this project, including top executives at Fifa and Uefa. We hope this channel has a positive influence on Portuguese society and shows that football is for all, regardless of sex, age, race or ability.”
Portugal’s prime minister António Costa said: “In the digital world and reaffirms the importance of cloud computing in Portugal’s digitisation. A digital pioneer, like Portugal, must take advantage of a secure and robust cloud to reinforce the technological development of our country and its companies.”