Sportel remains key marketplace for buying and selling soccer TV rights

Sportel, the world’s only convention for the international sports media and technology industry, concluded its annual event in Miami last week in front of many of the key decision makers from around the globe including broadcast TV networks, distributors, media, federations, leagues, soccer clubs, technology and software companies, marketing and sponsorship organizations and legal and consultation firms.

Founded in 1990, Sportel is the conference where many of the major soccer rights deals are discussed and negotiated between buyers and sellers from around the world. While focusing on other sports too, Sportel also features conference sessions as well as networking opportunities for media companies, leagues, clubs, confederations and other businesses.

“Sportel focuses on media and technology and of course it evolved greatly with the evolution of the industry but, in regard to the number of sports, we’ve always been very open to all sports,” explained Sportel executive Nick Volante. “Some of our exhibiters have been there for a long time. [For example], the NBA have been exhibiting for 20 to 30 years. We have most of the major football leagues in Europe. They’ve been supporting us for 10 to 15 years. In the U.S., we’ve had really great support from a lot of the U.S. leagues, and we have a lot of great support in Europe from many of the different sports leagues so it’s really diverse across all sports.”

During the four-day event, there were panels and keynote speeches that focused on buyers and sellers connecting directly to manage media content and data, direct to consumer distribution, how to enable new content experiences and revenue streams and the paths taken to protect rights holders’ content among other things. Some of the speakers included Matt Brabants, Senior Vice President of Global Media Distribution and Business Operations of the NBA, Antonio Briceno, Deputy Managing Director of beIN SPORTS North America and Heidi Pellerano, Chief Commercial Officer for CONCACAF.

“The content was great,” said Sportel CEO Laurent Puons. “It’s a new initiative, the buyer breakfast started very well. But our goal is to provide year after year new business opportunities and initiatives to our community. We’re currently thinking about the future, about next year, 2021, to put in place new initiatives that will provide new business opportunities to our community and that is the most important.”

Sportel CEO Laurent Puons

What makes the event unique is that in addition to having a conference, there’s also an exhibition hall where companies can showcase their content and products and have the opportunity to interact with executives of all levels. Registered exhibitors included LaLiga, the NBA, Fight Sports, Matchroom Sport, FOX Deportes, myQuiz, CP Communications, Telstra, Kiswe and Aldea Solutions.

Sportel will have another convention in Monaco from October 26-28. Monaco also happens to be where the headquarters of Sportel is located. People from all over the globe will be in attendance as the company will celebrate their 30th anniversary and continue to foster new opportunities for companies and brands.

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