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Portugal’s Meo signs up for sports reciprocity deal

FC Porto's Estádio do Dragão

FC Porto’s Estádio do Dragão

Portugal’s leading operator Portugal Telecom/Meo has joined the country’s other ISPs to agree a new deal designed to ensure reciprocity of sports rights across their various platforms.

Altice-owned Portugal Telecom/Meo, Nos, Vodafone and Cabovisão have all agreed a deal whereby rights to broadcasts of sporting events and rights to channels covering sporting events, including football clubs’ channels, will be shared between them.

Under the deal, all Nos, Meo, Cabovisão and Vodafone customers will be able to view sports content, including football matches to which individual club channels have the rights, on all platforms.

The deal includes access to leading club Benfica’s channel and Benfica home games, starting with the 2016-17 season, along with the matches played by Boavista, also from 2016-17, the home matches of FC Porto, from July 1 2018, which the Porto Canal will be made available to all operators, and the channel of Sporting, also from July 1 2018.

Nos CEO Miguel Almeida said the agreement was “the final step” in implementing the commitment made by the company to ensure that sports content is available for all operators in the country.

Portugal has experienced ongoing problems in reciprocity of sports rights.

Nos secured the rights to Benfica’s matches at the end of last year in a €400 million deal, beating competition from Portugal Telecom/Meo.

In February, Meo pulled Porto Canal, the channel of the FC Port club, from Nos’s platform after the pair failed to strike a deal.

The Portuguese football championship is broadcast on the Sport TV channel owned by Nos and Portuguese businessman Joaquin Oliveira, although Benfica home matches have been exclusive to the Benfica TV channel this season.

Nos has over the last few months signed reciprocity deals with Vodafone and Cabovisão, and the deal with Meo is the last piece of the puzzle.

Separately, Meo has made Eurosport’s Eurosport 2 Xtra app, which allows users to view the Forumula 1 motorsports championship through multiple cameras, among other things, available to its subscribers.