Sport Business: Foxtel saving $180 million from sports broadcast rights

Cricket Australia’s media rights partner Foxtel Cable Television Pty. Ltd. Foxtel will save at least $180 million over the next three years from reduced fees for broadcast rights to sport.

The digital platform originally signed a deal in June to make all remaining games from the 2019/20 Serie A season available to users in the UK and Ireland following the league’s post-lockdown return. That deal was the first live soccer content to land on LiveScore.

LiveScore’s StreamAMG-powered over-the-top (OTT) service attracted 500,000 unique viewers in its first two months, and secured a peak audience of 125,000 during coverage of AC Milan’s 4-2 victory over Juventus on 7th July.

The deal with Serie A was negotiated by the Saran Media Group and agreed with Serie A’s UK pay-TV rights partner Premier Sports. Serie A’s international sales partnership with IMG is worth just more than €380 million (US$428.2 million) a year, covering broadcast rights, club archive rights, betting rights, a marketing spend and a fee for access to the broadcast signal.

The platform has also acquired other UK rights from IMG’s international elite soccer portfolio from 2020/21, snapping up 142 live top-tier matches from the Netherlands’ Eredivisie, as well as 60 matches from the Chinese Super League (CSL).

LiveScore has also agreed a deal with Portuguese pay-TV operator Sport TV and the Primeira Liga’s global sales partner to show 102 live matches from Portuguese soccer’s top flight next season.

The free streaming service has also added South American soccer content with live rights deals for 262 matches from South America’s Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana, and Recopa tournaments, as well as Fifa World Cup, Uefa Champions League, and Uefa Europa League qualifiers, and 21 Coupe de France matches.

“After a fantastic start for our new LiveScore free-to-air (FTA) live streaming service, we’re excited that our offering is set to get bigger and better for the new 2020/21 season,” Ric Leask, LiveScore’s marketing director, said.

“As well as returning to the hugely popular leagues in Italy and Portugal, by unveiling a number of new competitions, we are continuing to innovate and offer our UK and Ireland audience the most immersive sports coverage possible.

“This is an important step for LiveScore as we continue to expand our digital content offering.”

In addition to live matches, LiveScore – which has two million users in the UK – will continue to offer premium on-demand soccer content, including the top-flight Spanish soccer highlights it secured in a three-year deal signed in 2019 when it took on sponsorship of La Liga’s Intel-powered 360° replay feature.

Elsewhere in the European soccer rights market, Dutch pay-TV operator Ziggo Sport has signed a three-year extension to its La Liga deal, which now runs through the 2023/24 season.

Meanwhile, Polish soccer’s Ekstraklasa top division is also finalising domestic broadcast partnership renewals through 2022/23, with pay-TV network Platforma Canal+ and public-service broadcaster TVP. Those contracts are reportedly worth a combined €56.8 million (US$66.8 million) per year in rights fees and production costs.