Nova and the Super League set to part ways

Nova and the Super League set to part ways

Nova and the Super League have come to a disagreement concerning broadcasting rights issues, creating uncertainty as to how Greece’s top footballing tier will be shown to the nation next season.

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According to information emerging from the Greek media, Nova have decided to terminate the contract in place with the Super League for the 2018/2019 season. The broadcasting company will show Greek championship matches during the remaining weeks of the current campaign, but the deal will be scrapped when the season reaches its completion. Issues connected to the monetary size of the contract were said to be the key issue, with neither side finding common ground.

Instead, Nova will seek to go down a different avenue and secure broadcasting contracts with each separate Super League team. At the moment, the company already have an individual agreement running with PAOK Thessaloniki through to 2019, a contract which has been in place since summer 2017. Last year, Nova proposed to cut the amount of clubs competing in the Super League from 16 to 14/12 and to have championship playoffs to determine the winner of the league, but the offer was turned down. The Super League didn’t agree with the idea to reduce the teams competing in the division and weren’t prepared to stage playoffs anymore. Such differences resulted in the two organisations deciding to part ways.

Unfortunately, this is bad news for the Super League’s smaller clubs. On their official website, SportFM reported that teams outside of the so-called big four will receive 50% less money for broadcasting rights than they did in the 2017/2018 season. For example, a team that currently takes in 1.5 million euros for television broadcasts will now only generate 600 thousand euros. As a result, the twelve ‘smaller’ Super League teams are planning to come together and try to get at least two of Greece’s largest four clubs on their side. However, it’s a tough task. PAOK have a contract with Nova for another year, Olympiacos will probably miss out on qualifying for the Champions League and won’t be willing to lose any more money, Panathinaikos are in a huge financial mess, and AEK Athens can receive up to two million more if they sign an individual agreement with Nova. The Super League’s small teams could be forced into halving their already tight budgets. 

Not long ago, the Greek championship’s television product was worth around 30-40 million euros, but because of little competition and barely any interest from abroad, Nova have now realised that it’s pointless parting with that kind of money. Nova were prepared to give the Super League 30 million for next season’s broadcasting rights, but the organisation wanted at least 35 million and talks eventually stalled. 

Nevertheless, there is a slight possibility that OTE could come in to save the potentially dangerous situation. OTE chairman Michalis Tsamaz stated that while the company had never been interested in owning the television rights for the Super League, he would be willing to enter negotiations if the opportunity arrived.

On the coming Tuesday, the Super League will hold a meeting where matters connected with the broadcasting rights issue, as well as the Greek Cup structure, will be discussed. 

by Shaun Nicolaides
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