Boasting exclusive pay TV rights for the two most important annual competitions in South American football, Fox Sports channel is getting ready to replicate the success it has enjoyed in Spanish-speaking Latin American countries in the region's largest market.
The Brazilian version of the sports channel will be launched in February 2012. The announcement comes as Fox International Channels has confirmed that it has bought from HM Capital Partners the latter's majority interest in Fox Pan American Sports, the firm running the network's Spanish-language programming services across the Americas.
"We have had a successful partnership with HM Capital for many years," said David Haslingden, president and COO of Fox Networks Group. "However, given the strategic importance of Latin America and Brazil, and the power of sports programming to television audiences in the region, it made sense for us to acquire full ownership once the opportunity emerged."
The new Portuguese-language channel will keep the same name – Fox Sports. It will be the country's only pay-TV channel to carry live games of the Copa Santander Libertadores and the Copa Bridgestone Sudamericana, the biggest club soccer tournaments in Latin America.
The initial draw of the 2012 edition of the Santander Libertadores will feature a record six Brazilian teams. Defending champions Santos (about to face Leo Messi and the rest of Barcelona F.C. in Japan to determine who are the world's best team) will be joined by Corinthians, Vasco da Gama, Fluminense, Internacional and Flamengo.
This, the company said in a statement, will give Fox Sports "an incredibly timely opportunity to gain traction with platforms, advertisers and viewers in Brazil".
Starting on the second half of 2012, the channel will also have exclusive live coverage of at least two Barclays Premier League games each week.