Romanian Liga 1 rights value flat as agency EAD seals five-year deal
EAD Interactive, a digital agency in Romania, has acquired exclusive broadcast rights to Liga 1, the country’s top-tier soccer league, in a five-year deal worth €140 million ($157.5 million).
The agreement with the LPF, the Romanian professional soccer league that operates Liga 1, runs from 2019-20 to 2023-24, and is worth €28 million per season, plus VAT.
It does not include radio rights, which LPF has sold to Radio Romania for €100,000 a year.
EAD will sell on domestic Liga 1 rights, with incumbents Look TV, the commercial broadcaster, telecoms firm Telekom Romania and pay-television broadcaster Digi Sport all interested, and claims to have interest from media companies outside Romania in showing the league abroad.
Orlando Nicoară, general manager of EAD, said the company aims to work with the LPF over the course of the contract to better commercialise Romanian soccer.
He said: "We signed for five years and we are responsible for producing matches. We want to make the product more attractive, to increase the audience for TV and stadiums. This is not a simple TV rights contract."
Liga 1 rights in the present cycle are held by Intel Sky Broadcast, the Malta-based company, in a five-year deal that runs to the end of this season, and has been worth around €27.5 million per year plus VAT (and an additional €1 million per year for the Cupa Ligii, the league cup competition).
The contract was initially overshadowed by the threat of legal action, after Digi Sport's owner RCS-RDS complained to the Romanian authorities that a right of first refusal clause in its previous deal for Liga 1 rights had been breached.
According to reports in Romania, EAD is keen to replicate the existing broadcasting model in the country, whereby matches are split by picks each week (Digi Sport gets first pick, Telekom Romania second and Look TV third), and high-profile matches shown by all three broadcasters.
ISB previously owned Look TV, but sold it to Clever Media Network in 2017.