Cash-strapped RTP sub-licences FIFA World Cup rights to rivals

Portuguese public broadcaster RTP has sub-licensed a series of FIFA World Cup 2022 rights to rival broadcasters SIC and TVI. RTP secured the rights as part of a FIFA deal with the European Broadcasting Union, signed in 2012.

No details have been given on the price paid, but Impresa-owned SIC has started to provide information about the fixtures it will show. RTP said the agreement will now be submitted for approval by FIFA, which has the last word in this matter”.

The most likely explanation for RTP’s decision to share its World Cup rights is that it is under financial pressure. The high costs of content combined with energy price increases has already prompted RTP to ask its directors to take a 5% pay cut.

Last year, RTP sub-licensed a package of 28 live games to PayTV channel Sport TV. That deal was permitted by FIFA, so RTP is expecting the new deal to be accepted as well. Despite the sub-licensing agreements, RTP said it will still be the broadcaster with “the largest number of matches of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, in a comprehensive coverage that takes into account the public interest of the event.”

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