Saturday, February 26, 2011
Understanding the fight among Brazilian Teams for the broadcast ing rights
For those outside from Brazil that enjoy watching the Brazilian National First Division, there is something huge going on right now about soccer broadcasting in Brazil. Everything may or may not change after 2012. The Brazilian networks Globo TV, Record TV and Rede TV all want to have the rights to broadcast the national championship, which is currently broadcasted only by Globo TV. It is a huge deal because according to Brazilian laws, both teams need to agree with the broadcasting rights agreement for the game to be broadcasted and currently, the most important teams are fighting among themselves in two different positions.The teams are divided between those who support CBF, the Brazilian soccer confederation, and those who support Clube dos 13, an association formed by the most important clubs in the country in the past. CBF wants to stay with the current TV network who broadcasts the championship, Globo, and the Clube dos 13 wants to hear bids from all of the other networks.
Everything started in 1987, when the Clube dos 13 was created because the CBF did not have enough political power at that time to keep organizing the national championship. CBF organized its own national championship as well with the teams that would form the second division. Flamengo won the championship organized by Clube dos 13, and Sport Recife won the championship organized by CBF. Flamengo has the right to be considered national champions, because they won the championship that was played with the best teams in the country. Sport has the right to be considered champions as well because they won the championship organized by the confederation filiated to FIFA and they played the South American Libertadores Cup in 1988 as the Brazilian Champions.
After 1988, Clube dos 13 and CBF reached an agreement to organize the same national championship. CBF created a special trophy for the team which would first win three consecutive National championship or five alternated ones, the so-called little ball's trophy. Then, in 1992, Flamengo won the National championship for the fifth time, if we consider 1987. After almost two decades, in 2007 Sao Paulo won its fifth national championship, claiming that they had the right to receive the trophy as well. Consequently, in the last years, a discussion has been going on about whether Flamengo or Sao Paulo deserves the trophy. More than only a discussion about the trophy, there is a lot of politics involved in this discussion
Sao Paulo is currently politically aligned with Clube dos 13, and its chairman, Juvenal Juvencio, is a political rival of Ricardo Teixeira, CBF's Chairman, and Andrez Sanches, Corinthians's Chairman, who is very close to Teixeira. Flamengo was more aligned with Clube dos 13 until recently, since its chairman, Patricia Amorin, was a political rival of Ricardo Teixeira. Its important to mention that Teixeira is very powerful politically, has plans to succeed Blatter in FIFA, and has strong relationships with TV Globo and its executives. So, Teixeira, Sanchez and Globo managed to bring Flamengo to their side.
They wanted to have the two most popular Brazilian teams Flamengo and Corinthians on their side, because they have together around 60 million supporters. They thought that, in this way, they would have more power to negociate broadcasting rights directly with Globo, weakening Clube dos 13 bidding procedures. In this way, Globo wouldn't have to pay more than half a billion reais, which is the amount that TV Record is willing to pay, since these clubs are willing to reach an agreement with Globo for less than that.
They brought Flamengo to their side in two ways. First of all, through Teixeira, CBF recognized that Flamengo was the legitimate champions of 1987, and so, they deserved to have the little ball's trophy. But, more importantly, CBF and Globo helped Flamengo financially to bring Ronaldinho Gaucho from AC Milan, through Traffic, a sports management company that was the Flamengo's financial background for this big transaction to bring the Brazilian star back from Italy to Rio de Janeiro. Consequently, CBF has on its side Flamengo and Corinthians, which gives to them political advantage in this whole process. In addition, they have right now on their side as well other clubs, such as Fluminense, Coritiba, Vasco da Gama, Botafogo and possibly Cruzeiro and Goias.
On March, we are going to know the result of this whole political process, but for sure, the Brazilian soccer does not win anything with situations like this.