Fox Sports retains Libertadores rights as 2018 final postponed

26 November 2018 | Broadcasting & New Media
Fox Sports retains Libertadores rights as 2018 final postponed
Cable giant to show continental club soccer showpiece in South America until 2022.

Fox Sports Latin America has retained the cross-platform broadcast rights to the Copa Libertadores on the weekend that the second leg of the final of South America’s premier club soccer tournament was twice postponed due to fan violence.

The new four year-deal, which starts in 2019 and runs until 2022, will see the cable giant continue to broadcast live coverage of the competition across the continent on its portfolio of Fox Sports channels and through its streaming app.

The rights package gives Fox live coverage of 67 games each season in Brazil, including the final, which will change from a two-leg format to a single game from next year. In the rest of South America, Fox will show 128 live games annually, and will be the only place to watch the final on TV.

The deal, which was agreed with the IMG-DAZN Group joint venture, FC Diez Media, also includes pre and post-match news coverage, along with local and personalised content for each country covered in the tie-up.

“The Conmebol Libertadores is the most prestigious club soccer tournament on the continent, followed by millions of fans. Fox Sports has been and will remain the home of the cup,” said Carlos Martinez, President of Fox Networks Group Latin America.

“We are very happy to have renewed these rights and that we will continue to broadcast the Conmebol Libertadores live, both on TV and via streaming, adding our own unique production standards to each broadcast.”

Saturday’s second leg of this year’s Copa Libertadores final between bitter Argentinian rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate was postponed for 24 hours after an attack on the Boca team bus near River’s El Monumental stadium saw a number of the away side’s players taken to hospital, having been cut by the glass from broken windows and affected by tear gas used by police.

The game was postponed for a second time on Sunday following a request from Boca to Conmebol, South American soccer’s governing body, in which they said their players were still not in the right frame of mind to take part. Talks over when and where the second leg will take place are still ongoing, but there remains no guarantee that the game will take place.

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