Portuguese-language service to carry live soccer games

Fox Intl. Channels will spike its presence in Brazil with the launch of a Portuguese-language Fox Sports in February.

It is entering a relatively underserved pay TV market where ESPN, local net Sport TV and Fox-owned Speed are the only sports cable channels on offer.

FIC has also bought out HM Capital Partner’s majority stake in Fox Pan American Sports, the leading Spanish-language sports programming service in Latin America of which it previously owned a third. This will likely be renamed Fox Sports Latin America.

FIC is in talks with Brazilian platforms to carry the channels. It expects to build on the distribution of Speed Channel Brazil, which reaches 4 million homes on all key feevee and telco platforms.

Fox Sports will be the only cable network in Brazil to carry live games of Copa Santander Libertadores and Copa Bridgestone Sudamericana, the biggest inter club soccer tournaments in Latin America.

“We’ll be offering 2,500 hours of regional productions in Brazil of which 2,000 hours are soccer games. The rest of Fox Sports Brazil programming will include original news and talkshows as well as two exclusive live games of the Barclays Premier League each week,” said Hernan Lopez, prexy and CEO.

Meanwhile, the company has upped Carlos Martinez to prexy FIC Latin America and Emiliano Saccone to prez, entertainment, FIC Latin America. Both were formerly exec VPs.

Saccone has tapped Eduardo Zebini as VP, managing editor Fox Sports in Brazil. He was most recently g.m. of TV with the World Cup Brazil 2014 Committee. Zebini will be based in Rio de Janeiro.

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