|Launched||2 October 2008|
|Owned by||S.L. Benfica S.A.D.|
|Picture format||576i (16:9) (SDTV)
|Audience share||3.1% (BTV1) (15 May 2016, GfK and CAEM)|
|Headquarters||Estádio da Luz - Door 27|
Channel 31 (HD)
Channel 33 (HD)
Channel 31 (HD)
Channel 32 (HD)
Channel 32 (HD)
Channel 71 (HD)
|Channel 169 (HD)|
|Channel 355 (HD)|
Benfica TV or BTV is a Portuguese sports-oriented premium cable and satellite television network with one channel operated by S.L. Benfica. Its headquarters are located at the Estádio da Luz, with a second studio at the Caixa Futebol Campus. The first broadcast was on 2 October 2008 and regular transmissions began on 10 December. The channel was originally made available for free on all its cable operators, but on 1 July 2013 it was made a premium channel.
Unlike other football club television channels, Benfica TV markets and broadcasts Benfica league matches at home. The TV rights are owned by NOS, who acquired them in December 2015. When the channel became premium in 2013, Benfica purchased content such as the English Premier League, the Italian Serie A, the French Ligue 1, and Ultimate Fighting Championship events, broadcasting it in a separate second channel, which ceased to exist 30 June 2016.
In Portugal, Benfica TV is available on cable, on IPTV and satellite packages of MEO and NOS, and on Nowo and Vodafone (both IPTV). Internationally, it is available to Portuguese speakers in Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique, France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, England, Canada and the United States.
The concept of a television channel specifically covering Benfica and its members was first mentioned in 2005 with Luís Filipe Vieira's announcement of a new membership campaign called Kit Sócio ("Member Kit"). A year later, Vieira mentioned creating the channel again in his presidential campaign, as a way for the club to better communicate with its members and fans. After nearly two years, in April 2008 Benfica selected the first production companies to create the channel's content; former SIC Radical executive producer Ricardo Palacin was appointed as director and began the process of negotiating with cable operators to broadcast the channel. A studio at Estádio da Luz and another at Caixa Futebol Campus were constructed, with the channel's broadcast to launch in November. In August, Benfica announced that MEO would be their cable operator, and Cabovisão (now Nowo), AR Telecom and Clix followed soon after. The club administrator, Domingos Soares Oliveira, disclosed that negotiations with ZON TV Cabo (now NOS) had stalled, preventing them from broadcasting the channel, even though ZON was the largest cable operator in Portugal at the time.
On 1 October, Benfica announced an experimental broadcast for the following day, showing the second leg of the 2008–09 UEFA Cup first round against Napoli. Transmission would start two hours before the match and end one hour after. Director of communications João Gabriel described the event as "the first broadcast of a sports club channel in Portugal, that will revolutionize the TV rights market", adding that it was a "significant" step. The test occurred without any incidents, and 100,000 people tuned in to watch the game.
Regular broadcasts started on 10 December at 10:00 WET with a news report. According to Domingos Soares Oliveira, the channel was expected to have operating costs of €4 million per year, and advertising alone would be enough to cover them. Two days after the first broadcast, Benfica announced that it would start transmitting all of their amateur sports home games, because TV rights were free and no exclusivity deal existed. The first live game broadcast was a match of the basketball section against Ovarense.
In the channel's early years, Benfica focused on expanding the availability of Benfica TV, broadcasting through the Cabovisão, AR Telecom and Clix cable providers in January 2009. ZAP was added in March 2009, and the Dish Network in July 2010. By end of its second year, Benfica TV was available in more than 1 million homes. In July 2011 Benfica began broadcasting more than just their own games with the purchase of 180 games from various teams, including Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool. Further expansions in both availability and content gained the channel significant profit. They entered the French network Orange in April 2012, and in August 2012 purchased the TV rights for 82 Brasileirão matches.
At the same time, Benfica was negotiating a new TV rights deal with Olivedesportos, as the former deal, valued at €7.5 million, expired on 30 June 2013. In March 2012 Benfica announced that they had rejected a five-year, €111 million offer (€22.2 million per year), asking for €40 million per year instead. After months of exploiting alternative means of broadcast, on 25 October 2012 Benfica publicly confirmed they were transmitting their Primeira Liga home games on Benfica TV. On the club's 109th anniversary, Vieira divulged that Benfica had acquired the Premier League TV rights through 2015–16. The following day, Domingos Soares de Oliveira confirmed that the purchase was necessary for the need of "better content" and that Benfica TV would become a subscription-based channel, since it could not longer be a "free channel inserted in a network package." The subscription fee would be under €10 per month. With this change, Benfica finally expanded their cable operators to include ZON, almost four years after their initial launch.
On 1 July 2013 Benfica TV became a premium channel, available in standard-definition and high-definition. The price was €9.90 per month and included the aforementioned Benfica home games, Premier League and Brasileirão, plus Major League Soccer and the Superleague Greece. Just days later, Benfica announced a deal with Cabovisão for the broadcast of the premium channel, and added Farense home games to their content. They closed their first month with 100,000 subscribers, which Vieira praised as "a good answer for the strategic shift he made and serves as fuel for the future." Benfica TV made their first home game broadcast on 25 August, beating their direct competitors in rating and share. Expansion continued in the second and third month, adding Vodafone to their list of cable operators and finishing September with over 200,000 subscribers. Due to the increased amount of available content, Benfica launched a second channel in October, and signed with another cable provider, Premier Sports, in November.
In January 2014, Benfica added LiveMatch, an internet pay-per-view option, that allowed residential customers to watch a live stream of home games. In the same month, the channel beat historic rating records and surpassed 300,000 subscribers. In the following months, Benfica added Ultimate Fighting Championship to their programming and shortened the channel's name to BTV. In November, Benfica disclosed that BTV had generated €28 million, with expenses rising to €11 million, for a net profit of €17 million, making it their main source of income. It was more than double that of previous income from TV rights, but still less than the rejected offer from Olivedesportos.
By the end of 2014, Benfica TV was available internationally in the Portuguese-speaking countries Angola, Cape Verde and Mozambique, as well as to the significant Portuguese populations in France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, England, Canada and the United States. In July 2015 Benfica added two more major leagues to its programming, Serie A and Ligue 1, signing a three-year deal that would last until 2018. At the same time, changes in the leadership at the Liga Portuguesa de Futebol Profissional brought forward the question of centralizing TV rights to one owner. Soares de Oliveira agreed that "we need a centralized TV deal", while Vieira said that he did not oppose and assured that Benfica TV would continue, if not Benfica home games, then their other relevant content. On 2 December 2015, Benfica sold its first-team TV rights as well as the distribution and broadcasting rights to NOS in a three-year deal, receiving €40 million per season, with the option to extend the contract to a maximum of ten seasons, totalling €400 million. NOS later opted to keep Benfica's first-team matches on Benfica TV, still as a premium channel. They also opted to removed all other premium content, namely the UFC, Ligue 1 and Serie A, subsequently closing the second channel (BTV2) on 30 June 2016.
On 9 February 2017, BTV was awarded with the Prémio Cinco Estrelas (Five Star Award) for the best TV Sports Channel in Portugal.
Benfica TV covers Benfica's daily activity with four regular news reports at 10:00, 14:00, 21:00 and 24:00 WET. They comment on daily newspapers, as well as recent events in Portugal. Occasionally, for unscheduled breaking news related to Benfica, more news reports can occur. However, the channel's main content is the broadcast of football matches, specially Benfica's Primeira Liga home games. Other minor content includes Segunda Liga transmissions from Benfica B and Farense, various youth matches from S.L. Benfica Juniors; past content have included the Premier League, Serie A and Ligue 1, the 2015 Copa del Rey Final, 2015 Supercopa de España, 2015 Supercoppa Italiana, the 2014–15 edition of the Taça de Honra, plus mixed martial arts company Ultimate Fighting Championship. From the start, Benfica has also broadcast its home matches for the five best-known amateur sports: basketball, futsal, roller hockey, handball and volleyball, with teams in both senior and youth categories, male or female.
Some of the original programs produced by Benfica TV, not including post-game analysis, are:
- As Lanças Apontadas, a 55-minute program where host Ricardo Palacin and guests review the week's main sports events
- Aquecimento, a 90-minute show presented by Hélder Conduto discussing upcoming matches
- Jogo Limpo, a 50-minute show with Fernando Seara, where he interviews, discusses and debates with guest athletes
- Direito Desportivo, a program focused on the technicalities of sports law
- Alta Fidelidade, a 30-minute show presented by Carlos Dias da Silva, interviewing a Benfica athlete
- Sport Lisboa e Modalidades, a 60-minute program related to the club's amateur sports, including interviews, fun facts, and analysis of athletes
- Canela até ao Pescoço, a 60-minute humour show, presented by Quimbé, Frederico Pombares, Mário Bomba and Alexandre Ovídio
- Vitórias & Património, a 60-minute documentary about Benfica history, notable events and players
- Em Linha da Noite, a show about recent events, where viewers can call and comment
- Isto é Mística, a mini-show related to the club's fans
- Jornal O Benfica, a preview of the weekly newspaper, O Benfica, presented by Pedro Guerra
- Tempo Corrido, 25-minute interview of various notable fans
- Pelas Casas do Benfica, a 30-minute show regarding the Houses of Benfica, the fans' gathering places, with facts, pictures and interviews
- "Distribuição Internacional BTV" [BTV international distribution] (JPEG) (in Portuguese). S.L. Benfica. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
- "Luís Filipe Vieira quer 300.000 sócios até Outubro" [Luís Filipe Vieira wants 300,000 members by October]. Record (in Portuguese). 2 June 2005. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
- "Benfica com maior número de sócios do mundo" [Benfica with the largest number of members in the world]. TSF (in Portuguese). 10 November 2006. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Benfica TV vai ter estúdios próprios" [Benfica TV will have their own studios]. Correio da Manhã (in Portuguese). 4 April 2008. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Benfica TV arranca em Novembro com lançamento exclusivo no mercado" [Benfica TV starts in November with exclusive market launch]. Jornal de Negócios (in Portuguese). 29 August 2008. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Perspectivas de Implementação da Televisão Digital em Portugal" [Perspectives in the implementation of the digital terrestrial television] (PDF) (in Portuguese). Obercom.pt. July 2008. p. 3. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Palacin: "Imagens e espaços nunca antes vistos"" [Palacin: "Images and spaces never seen before"]. Record (in Portuguese). 1 October 2008. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
- "Benfica TV arrancou hoje com bloco noticioso" [Benfica TV launched today with a news segment]. Expresso (in Portuguese). 10 December 2008. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Canal benfiquista já transmite vitórias" [Benfica channel already broadcasts wins]. Record (in Portuguese). 3 October 2008. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
- "Benfica TV arrancou hoje com bloco noticioso" [Benfica TV started today with news] (in Portuguese). Expresso. 10 December 2008. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "Benfica TV com emissões regulares a partir de 10 Dezembro" [Benfica TV with regular broadcasts starting from 10 December]. Record (in Portuguese). 25 November 2008. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
- Isabel Paulo (12 December 2008). "Benfica-Ovarense transmitido em directo na Benfica TV e na Sport TV" [Benfica-Ovarense broadcast live on Benfica TV]. Expresso (in Portuguese). Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Benfica TV na Cabovisão, AR Telecom e Clix Smart TV" [Benfica TV on Cabovisão, AR Telecom and Clix Smart TV]. Jornal de Negócios (in Portuguese). 9 January 2009. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Benfica TV passa a estar disponível a partir de hoje na ZAP TV" [Benfica TV become available in ZAP from today onwards]. Jornal de Negócios (in Portuguese). 13 March 2009. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Benfica TV to Debut Nationwide Exclusively on DISH Network". Dish Network. 22 July 2010. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Canal do clube chega a mais de um milhão de lares" [TV channel reacher over a million homes]. Record (in Portuguese). 18 November 2010. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
- "Benfica TV chega a um milhão de lares" [Benfica TV reaches a million homes]. Diário de Noticias (in Portuguese). 18 November 2010. Archived from the original on 2015-06-30. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Benfica TV vai transmitir "overdose" de jogos internacionais" [Benfica TV will broadcast "overdose" of matches]. Record (in Portuguese). 15 July 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Benfica TV com lucro histórico" [Benfica TV with historic profit]. Correio da Manhã (in Portuguese). 8 November 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Benfica TV pode ser vista em França através da operadora Orange" [Benfica TV can now been seen in France through operator Orange]. Benfica (in Portuguese). 5 April 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Águias compram jogos do campeonato brasileiro" [Eagles purchase games of the Brazilian league]. Record (in Portuguese). 19 August 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
- "Benfica recusa 41 milhões de Oliveira" [Benfica refuses 41 millions from Olivedesportos]. Correio da Manhã (in Portuguese). 15 February 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Benfica rejeita proposta de 22,2 milhões por época da Olivedesportos" [Benfica reject offer for €22.2 million per year from Olivedesportos]. Público (in Portuguese). 3 March 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Domingos Soares Oliveira: "A marca Benfica vale entre 250 e 300 milhões de euros"" [Domingos Soares Oliveira: "Benfica brand is worth 250 to 300 million euros".]. Jornal de Negócios (in Portuguese). 21 March 2011. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "Benfica recusa 111 milhões da Sport TV" [Benfica refuses €111 million from Sport TV]. Expresso (in Portuguese). 6 March 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "Comunicado" [Announcement] (PDF). CMVM (in Portuguese). Benfica. 25 October 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Benfica TV seals Premier League rights in Portugal". premierleague.com. Archived from the original on 2 March 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
- "Benfica TV com mensalidade até dez euros" [Benfica TV with a monthly fee up to €10]. Público (in Portuguese). 1 March 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Benfica TV vai passar a ser um canal pago" [Benfica TV will become a premium channel]. MaisFutebol (in Portuguese). 1 March 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Comunicado: Benfica TV canal premium na MEO, ZON e ZAP" [Benfica TV premium in MEO, ZON and ZAP]. Benfica (in Portuguese). 28 June 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "MEO transmite canal premium Benfica TV" [MEO broadcasts Benfica TV premium]. Sapo Desporto (in Portuguese). 28 June 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Comunicado" [Announcement] (PDF). CMVM (in Portuguese). Benfica. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- Curado, Paulo; Cunha, Pedro (17 January 2014). "Cronologia Benfica TV" [Benfica TV chronology]. Público (in Portuguese). Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- "Benfica TV ultrapassa os 100 mil assinantes" [Benfica TV surpasses 100,000 subscribers]. Benfica (in Portuguese). 29 July 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- Pedro Pinto (26 August 2013). "Benfica TV bate Sport TV Live no primeiro confronto 'a sério'" [Benfica TV beats Sport TV on their first 'real' confrontation]. Zapping (in Portuguese). Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Benfica TV disponível a 12 de Agosto na Vodafone TV" [Benfica TV available on Vodafone TV on 12 August]. Benfica (in Portuguese). 12 August 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Luís Filipe Vieira: "Benfica TV já ultrapassou os 210 mil assinantes"" [Luís Filipe Vieira: "Benfica TV alreaded surpassed the 210,000 members]. Benfica (in Portuguese). 24 September 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Segundo canal da Benfica TV arranca em Outubro" [Benfica TV second channel launched in October]. Público (in Portuguese). 23 August 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Benfica TV now available in North America". Benfica. 13 November 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "SLB Live Match". Benfica. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- Pinto, Pedro (13 January 2014). "Benfica TV atinge resultado histórico e chega a vice-liderar audiências" [Benfica TV reaches historic result and nearly leads ratings]. ZappingTV (in Portuguese). Retrieved 13 January 2014.
- "Benfica TV exceeds 300,000 subscribers". Benfica. 10 February 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Ultimate Fighting Championship chegou à Benfica TV" [Ultimate Fighting Championship arrives to Benfica TV] (in Portuguese). Benfica. 27 May 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
- ""Benfica TV" muda denominação para "BTV"" ["Benfica TV" changed denomination to "BTV"]. Novidadestv.com. 3 July 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Relatório de Contas Benfica SAD 2013-14" [SL Benfica Financial Report 2013-14] (PDF). CMVM. Benfica. 8 January 2015. pp. 36 and 38. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Benfica TV rendeu 17 milhões de euros "limpos"" [Benfica TV generated 17 million net profit]. Público (in Portuguese). 1 November 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "BTV já emite em HD também no estrangeiro" [BTV already broadcasts in HD in other countries]. Benfica. 10 November 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- Candeias, Pedro; Guerreiro, Pedro Santos (4 July 2015). "Benfica TV com ligas italiana e francesa" [BTV with the Italian and French leagues] (in Portuguese). Expresso. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
- "BTV transmite Ligas Francesa e Italiana" [BTV broadcasts French and Italian leagues] (in Portuguese). Benfica. 4 July 2015. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
- "Proença: "Futebol está condenado a ser uma atividade empresarial" [Proença: "Football is doomed to be a corporate activity."]. Sapo Desporto (in Portuguese). 27 July 2015. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Domingos Soares Oliveira: "Precisamos da centralização dos direitos televisivos"" [Domingos Soares Oliveira: "We need a centralized TV rights deal"]. Record (in Portuguese). 5 July 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
- ""Nada a opor à centralização dos direitos de TV"" ["Nothing to oppose to the centralization of TV rights"]. Record (in Portuguese). 23 July 2015. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Announcement" (PDF). Benfica. CMVM. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- "Jogos do Sport Lisboa e Benfica vão manter-se na Benfica TV na próxima época" [Sport Lisboa and Benfica matches will remain on Benfica TV in the following season] (PDF). NOS.pt (in Portuguese). 30 May 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
- Ribeiro, Sara (1 July 2016). "Benfica encerra BTV2 em todas as operadoras" [Benfica close BTV2 on all operators]. Jornal de Negócios (in Portuguese). Retrieved 1 July 2016.
- Durães, Pedro (7 July 2016). "Sport TV recupera exclusividade das transmissões de combates UFC" [Sport TV recovers broadcast exclusivity of UFC fights]. Meios & Publicidade (in Portuguese). Retrieved 17 October 2016.
- "Liga Francesa e Italiana passam para a Sport TV a partir de agosto" [French and Italian leagues return to Sport TV in August]. Dinheiro Vivo (in Portuguese). 28 July 2016. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
- "BTV melhor canal desportivo" [BTV best sports channel]. Benfica (in Portuguese). 8 February 2017. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
- "Oficial: Benfica TV garante transmissão das ligas italiana e francesa" [Official: Benfica TV lands broadcast of Italian and French leagues]. MaisFutebol (in Portuguese). 4 July 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "BTV transmite final da Taça do Rei" [BTV broadcasts Copa del Rey Final]. Sapo (in Portuguese). 26 May 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "Supertaça Italiana na Benfica TV" [Supercoppa Italiana at Benfica TV]. redpass.blogs.sapo.pt (in Portuguese). 20 December 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "Taça de Honra de Lisboa com transmissão na "Benfica TV" e "Sporting TV"" [Taça de Honra with broadcast at "Benfica TV" and "Sporting TV"]. NovidadesTV (in Portuguese). 18 June 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "BTV adquire direitos do UFC em exclusividade" [BTV acquires exclusive rights to UFC] (in Portuguese). Record. 8 July 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
- "Programas" [Programming]. Benfica (in Portuguese). Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "Youtube channel of Canela até ao Pescoço". YouTube (in Portuguese). Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "Ricardo Palacin: "Vamos ver muitos momentos de glória do Benfica"" [Ricardo Palacin: "We will see many historic moments of Benfica".]. Benfica (in Portuguese). 18 October 2010. Archived from the original on 23 November 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "Bagão Félix é o convidado do novo programa da Benfica TV" [Bagão Felix is the guest of the new show of Benfica TV]. Benfica (in Portuguese). 8 January 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- Official website (Portuguese)