Sports Business : Eleven Sports reduces staff by 25%

Eleven Sports Portugal, a regional arm of the international pay-television operator, has reduced its staff by 25 per cent due to a drop in revenues as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The company has retained 25 permanent employees which are currently working remotely, chief executive Jorge Pavao de Souza revealed. 

With the majority of sports shut down across the world, Eleven has suffered with no live action to offer.

The broadcaster’s advertising revenues have slumped by 30 to 40 per cent as a result. 

Eleven has rights to several major soccer competitions in Portugal, such as the UEFA Champions League, Spain’s LaLiga and Germany’s Bundesliga, which are all presently suspended. 

It also holds rights to the French Ligue 1 but the 2019-20 season was cancelled last week and Belgium’s Pro League, which it also shows, is expected to follow suit.

Away from soccer, the broadcaster has rights to motor racing’s Formula 1 and American football’s NFL. Eleven launched an annual pass for its coverage of the 2020 Formula 1 season, priced at €50 ($54) for the year, but no races have taken place yet.

De Souza is confident that soccer will return by the end of May but admitted the company will have to “consider other options” if leagues are not back up and running.