The Copa Libertadores da America from 2023 will be broadcast again by Globo. In the market, few are surprised. On the leading broadcaster in the audience, football appears not only at the time of matches, but also in many attractions of the broadcaster, which increases the appreciation of games and clubs by fans.
The greater this recognition, the greater the chances of clubs and Libertadores themselves to increase their income from sponsorships and sales of products and services.
The deal is good for clubs, but better for Globo. The broadcaster wins with the football audience and restores the morale of the market. After the broadcaster broke the contract with CONMEBOL during the pandemic, not many imagined that the owner of the Libertadores would return to negotiate with Globo.
It should be noted that the dispute between Globo and Conmebol ended up in court. The case was resolved after the broadcaster paid a fine of R$ 223 million. In addition to losing the Libertadores, during the pandemic, the broadcaster also gave up the state football championship.
Many analysts predicted that the end of the world would occur at Carioca Station. Despite some rare and subtle moments when competition led the crowd with football matches, Globo comfortably followed Ibope’s lead even on match days.
Now, the trend is that with the return of football, Ibope’s Globo feature will be expanded and it will become even more dominant on Open TV. And this may not even be the greatest victory for the platinum flower.
Globe won the battle
Another important aspect of Libertadores’ return to Globo may be the fact that the station has been able to “zero” the rules of its old contracts and have more negotiating power over open television.
In November last year, when I interviewed Manuel Bellemare, Globo’s general manager of finance, he said that disagreements with partners in recent years have been atypical, that there is a “positive dynamism” in terms of sports contracts and that Globo will try to restore all competitions that have left its network. .
But according to Bellemare, this will only be possible if “economic conditions make sense.” That is, the plan will be to close deals only when there is a possibility of profit from the business.
If Globo closed with Libertadores, it was because it got the value it planned for and proved its power as a platform to promote Libertadores is worth as much, or more, than the money you pay for the rights.
As I heard from Erick Brêtas, Globo’s director of digital products and services earlier this year, “Globo hasn’t lost the state championship because it doesn’t have the money. It’s a choice. For Globo to prioritize some rights, you must give them even others.”
Globo has over R$15 billion in cash and in this first quarter earned R$1.3 billion. On the other hand, if Globo’s primacy in broadcasting football on television remains constant, then live broadcasting is an increasing risk.
Why live broadcasts can threaten Globo
Globo has reason to celebrate Libertadores’ return to their schedule, but the win for Disney, and especially Paramount, should be cause for concern. Disney is a really big company and was founded in Brazil in the sports sector with ESPN, it’s not new. But Paramount+, Paramount’s streaming service, is still small in the country, but it’s full of ambition and a willingness to invest.
Paramount is an American media giant that changed its name from ViacomCBS earlier this year to reinforce its commitment to streaming. The group owns CBS, the largest television network in the United States, a number of cable channels such as MTV and Nickelodeon, as well as studio Paramount.
The family of Paramount’s main contributor has historical problems and was even one of the main sources of inspiration for the HBO series “Succession”. Shari Redstone fought her father Sumner for two decades and CBS head Les Moonves, one of the most respected names in Hollywood, for control of Paramount. Today, she is the president of the company.
Shari played Chef of Section and Sumner, the father of the Logan family of media moguls. Sumner, like Logan in the series, has his age and mental ability questioned by his children. Despite the confusion, the studios Basic and flow Basic+ They performed well.
Paramount good run
The films “Sonic 2” and “The Lost City” gave Paramount a 21% share of the US box office this year. In the five years prior to the pandemic, the company’s average market share was 6%. Another asset of the company is “Top Gun: Maverick”, which will soon be shown in cinemas.
The film, with Tom Cruise, is expected to help the company earn more than R$1.1 billion at the box office in the second quarter. The value is greater than the company’s total box office revenue in 2022. 45 days after it opens in cinemas, Top Gun will hit Paramount+ and the number of new signups should speed up.
Paramount added +6.8 million subscribers to the US streaming service in the first quarter. HBO Max has won just over 3 million, and Peacock has won 4 million in the country. Disney+ has added nearly 8 million, but worldwide. The Netflix leader lost 640,000 in the US and Canada and 200,000 worldwide (Asian growth offset the global decline).
Unlike its competitors like Netflix, Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery, which drives costs down, Paramount+ accelerates investments. The segment containing the broadcasting business showed an operating loss of R$2.3 billion in the first quarter, despite increasing revenue 82% year-over-year to more than R$28 billion.
The company’s free cash flow was R$1.2 billion in the quarter, compared to R$8.2 billion in the same period last year. The company’s goal is to reach 100 million Paramount+ subscribers by 2024, with the business reaching its loss-making peak in 2023, then declining to profit in the next few years.
Money will not be a problem in the short term. Hence, Paramount+ has the opportunity to grow rapidly and prove to the market that football is an unbeatable weapon in live streaming. But this will make the dispute over rights even fiercer (and costly).
Additionally, if Libertadores takes off on Paramount+ and falls into popular taste, not only will Conmebol gain a new, “wealthy” customer, but they can also strive to create a viable alternative to Globo in-stream. There may be more attractions about football, such as documentaries and shows about Libertadores, clubs and players. This would solve one of the weaknesses of Globo’s competitors on Open TV, which is limited to viewing matches, without maintaining content on the network.
Why football broadcasting would be a revolution
As more and more viewers are switching to broadcasting, it’s only natural that the big attractions follow. But as football outside Globo has already shown, consumption is also a habit.
The broadcasting platforms will have to prove that they can create a new habit among consumers of football in Brazil. While broadcasting, it will be possible to stream several games simultaneously, unlike TV which is limited to one match. Streaming all matches helps, and digital broadcasting still offers multiple possibilities, from cameras with different angles, to accessing more data and purchasing products during broadcasts.
If Paramount + becomes popular with the public, the next negotiations on Globo should become even more difficult. In addition to competing with traditional rivals, it will have to face foreign media giants such as Disney, Paramount and Warner Bros. Discovery and tech giants like Amazon, as well as Google, TikTok, Apple, and others.
Multinational companies also have the possibility to purchase bulk packages for different countries. Disney and Paramount purchased the rights to the Libertadores for all of Latin America. This explains why competing Conmebol sold for $1.5 billion from 2023 to 2026, a record figure compared to revenue of $1.1 billion from 2019 to 2022.
Globo has Globoplay, so it would be more accurate to say that the transition from football to broadcasting is probably more problematic for TV than for Globo.
This year, at the Libertadores sale offer that Conmebol distributed among potential buyers, there was a possibility that the competition could only be bought live, as revealed by journalist Eric Petting.
Conmebol sold the competition for 1.5 billion reais, a record in terms of revenue, so it was also victorious. Broadcasting certainly played a major role in this number. Paramount, Amazon and Disney also opposed the rights. OneFootball has purchased the highlights of the competition.
cricket situation in india
Surprisingly, India is probably the best country to consider the possibility of live streaming of the live tournaments. Cricket arouses the same passion for Indians as football for Brazilians.
There, cricket matches were broadcast more consistently for a longer time than in Brazil. By the way, this is one of the reasons for the rapid growth of Disney + subscribers around the world. The platform is the current owner of the IPL (Indian Premier League) broadcasting rights. But the contract expires this year.
Competition for the rights to the IPL is still fierce. The number (and size) of companies in dispute gives a clue: Amazon, Disney, Google, Sony, and the Indian companies Reliance and Zee Entertainment, as well as fantasy gaming site Dream 11, are in the race to be decided in June.
The viewership of Major League Cricket is second only to the English Premier League and the National Football League (National Football League). Last year, the IPL attracted 600 million viewers. India is huge and one of the most competitive entertainment markets in the world.
Despite big investments in India, Netflix is skating in the country. This year, the broadcasting leader is expected to produce more than 70 domestic productions in India (no live sports), but he has stopped at just over 5 million subscribers, a quarter of the number in Brazil.
The Indian government, which owns the IPL, expects to sell the competition for television and live broadcasts, from 2023 to 2027, for more than R$35 billion (because the IPL is worth R$35 billion and the Libertadores is only R$1.5 billion). The billion is a topic for another column, but the fact that football competitions in Latin America are less “international” and have a smaller audience than cricket, which reaches all of Asia, most of Europe and Canada, are factors).
In the United States, there is also a growing dispute over the rights to broadcast live competitions over live broadcasts. Amazon last year shut down NFL broadcasts on Thursday nights. It will pay about R$5 billion annually. Apple TV+ now has MLB games on Fridays.
For now, Globo remains comfortable on open TV. But it’s hard to imagine CONMEBOL not keeping an eye on these other markets and thinking about how to grow in live, where there’s more money and Globo doesn’t have the same bargaining power, since there are more competitors. For football fans, match days on open TV may become increasingly rare.