SAO PAULO (Reuters) - The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) is to broadcast upcoming matches against Argentina and Australia on new media platforms, marking a surprise break with long-time partner TV Globo, the sporting organisation said on Wednesday.
Calling the move “unprecedented” the CBF said the two games would be shown on its website, Facebook page, mobile phone apps through their sponsor Vivo, Brazil’s largest wireless carrier, and on UOL, one of its biggest online media sites.
Two small government-run channels TV Brasil and TV Cultura will also broadcast the games live.
“This is a way to further democratise the reach of Brazil matches, offering fans new alternatives to see the Brazilian national team on the field,” the CBF said in a statement.
Brazil, the only team to win the World Cup five times, take on South American rivals Argentina at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday and then face the host nation at the same venue on June 13.
The move is seen as a rebuke to TV Globo, the media conglomerate which has broadcast Brazil games for decades and which remains one of the main rights holders, and biggest funders, of Brazil’s domestic leagues.
Globo said it tried to negotiate the rights to the two games but was unable to come to an agreement with the CBF.
“Grupo Globo defends market competition and believes it has the best solution for our national team through visibility and involvement, both with audience (share) as well as with the quality of transmission and the economic model, but we respect that the CBF thinks differently,” it said in a statement.
The CBF’s initiative follows a similar move by club side Atletico Paranaense, which in March became the first big club to broadcast their games live on YouTube.
Reporting by Andrew Downie