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Belgium’s Pro League awards Eleven Sports domestic rights

First time streamer has been awarded top-tier domestic football rights in a European market

Eleven Sports has been awarded the domestic rights to Belgium’s Pro League for the next five years, however two clubs have opted out of the deal.

The streaming service will now hold the rights from 2020-21 onwards. It is the first time Eleven Sports has been awarded top-tier domestic football rights in a European market.

According to Pro League, its general assembly “decided statutorily by a two-thirds majority to award the media rights to Eleven Sports.”

However, the league said that, on the “basis of the result of the vote”, top-tier side KAA Gent has “decided not to participate in the sale of collective rights.”

The distribution of media revenues among clubs – one of the sticking points that was preventing the rights from being awarded – was today approved “by a large majority”, the league said. Yet, given the nature of the proposed distribution model, Antwerp has also opted against its participation in the sale of collective rights.

It’s thought the two clubs could look to sell the rights to their own home matches.

Eleven Sports issued a statement to say it intends to sit down with the Pro League to discuss the next steps and decide the best way forward to finalise the agreement.

“For the time being, we would like to thank the Pro League and clubs for the faith they have shown in our ambitious project for Belgian football,” the statement continued. “Eleven Sports is committed to growing our offering around the world, to serve more fans with the sports they love in exciting and innovative ways. The opportunity to bring Belgian football to hundreds of thousands of dedicated local supporters will be an important milestone in that journey.”