Ball’s in the ‘Net

World Cup: Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO — This year, soccer fans in Brazil, the current cup holder, will be able to watch the games on the Internet for the first time, as well as the usual terrestrial and pay TV platforms.

Dominant media body Organizacoes Globo has exclusive Internet rights for its Web site as well as exclusive terrestrial rights for Brazil’s No. 1 web TV Globo. Its paybox, Sportv, has coverage along with ESPN Brasil (the local, Portuguese-language version of the net) and Bandsports (of the Bandeirantes group).

Satcaster Directv Brasil will show the matches on eight channels in Portuguese, English and Spanish.

Until the 1998 World Cup in France, Brazil’s nets shared rights costs. However, Globo bought exclusive rights for the 2002 and 2006 tournaments from Infront Sports & Media for $240 million and $270 million respectively.

In 2003, Globo sued Infront in a Rio court, demanding a price cut and arguing that sports rights’ prices had dramatically fallen.

In May 2004, Infront agreed, and cut the price for the 2006 tourney to $83 million.

Even that price was too rich for Globo’s rival webs. They turned down Organizacoes Globo’s offer to share the rights with other broadcasters.

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