Telenet seeks all Belgian football rights
09.44 Europe/London, July 8, 2011 By Robert Briel

Belgian cable operator Telenet that it will be able to broadcast all the Belgian foorball league matches as of next season on Sporting Telenet, its new sports channel on digital television. The operator has already decided that it will purchase the non-exclusive football rights of Lot 3 with regards to the football season 2012-2013 and season 2013-2014.

For the 2011-2012 season, Belgacom TV owns the exclusive rights to Lot 3, but Telenet said it is nopw investigating the possibilties to try and acquire those rights as well. Ther cable operator said it received many complaints from football fans, who now have to buy two set-top boxes and subscribe to two different platform in order to see all Belgian league matches.

“In recent weeks, many of our customers have told us that they regret the fact that our company failed to acquire the entire football rights, and therefore true club fans would have to possess two decoders in order to be able to follow their favorite club’s performance ”, explained Inge Smidts, SVP residential marketing, in a statement. “We listened carefully to these concerns. Our new “Sporting Telenet” pay-TV sports channel aims to be closer to the true football fan, and we therefore already decided that we will purchase the non-exclusive football rights of Lot 3 with regards to the next upcoming season, thereby enabling our customers to watch all matches of the Belgian competition from July 2012 onwards on Sporting Telenet”.

In the past bidding procedure, Telenet cast a bid on the non-exclusive rights of Lot 1 and Lot 2, but not of Lot 3. The company made this choice in June in order to avoid being ultimately only stuck with the less valuable non-exclusive rights of Lot 3. Telenet acquired in June the exclusive broadcasting rights for the top three matches per match day (Lot 1 and 2).