Telenet ends Belgacom’s football exclusivity

Belgacom has lost the exclusive broadcast rights to Belgium’s top football league, with cable operator Telenet taking a share of the live matches.

The Belgian telco and pay TV operator said it had offered a “substantially higher amount” to the Jupiler Pro League for live broadcast rights from 2011-2014 than it had three years ago. Despite this, the league has split the rights between the two operators, meaning fans will need to subscribe to both Telenet and Belgacom to watch all live matches. Telenet will be able to select the top three matches to broadcast each week.

“Belgacom is surprised that the league has opted for two operators, as football fans will now need two decoders, if they also want to see the other matches,” the telco said in a statement. “Belgacom will review its soccer subscription plans and will inform the clients about the renewed offer which will be available from the start of the soccer season on July 29.”

Telenet will broadcast live matches for the first time in six years on its Prime Sport channel. “Our customers have repeatedly told us that they would appreciate it if Telenet too would broadcast the Belgian football competition,” said Duco Sickinghe, CEO of Telenet. “For that reason we did our utmost to satisfy their demands, and financially we made an effort not only to acquire a number of Belgian football rights, but will also offer top-class international football as well on Prime Sport.”

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