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VertiCast open to further negotiations with Flow over broadcast of English Premier League
Brighton's German midfielder Pascal Gross shoots and scores his team's second goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Brighton and Hove Albion at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England, on August 7, 2022. (Photo: AFP)

VertiCast Media Group (VMG), rights holder of the English Football Association's Premier League, says it is willing to meet with Flow to continue negotiations for the competition's broadcast this season.

VMG said in an open letter on Wednesday that it remains willing to immediately meet and agree on terms with Flow, based on what the latter said in an e-mail on August 1.

After obtaining the sole rights to the matches for the region, VMG then began negotiating with various cable operators on terms of broadcast, but could not reach an agreement with Flow before the start of the league on August 5. It meant that Flow's subscribers, who now had no legal access to the first round of matches last weekend, had to stream games from VMG's CSport online platform.

But VMG said then that until a deal is reached with Flow, games can be accessed via a free trial on Csport.tv until August 31.

"VertiCast has technically prepared and invested for Flow to receive the CSport channels immediately upon agreement so broadcast of the Premier League can begin this weekend," VMG said in the letter.

VMG says that upon acquiring the rights to the Premier League, it contacted regional cable companies with exactly the same terms in its negotiations, which 30 other operators in the Caribbean accepted. It says that although it did not reach an agreement with Flow, multiple proposals were however submitted, the most recent being on July 28.

VMG describes the terms of the last proposal as being structured on favourable terms as it includes three CSport channels and the rights for Flow to air the FIFA World Cup, which starts in November, in certain countries.

VMG says that Flow confirmed receipt of the offer on July 29, but did not submit a counter proposal. Flow subsequently said it would remove live broadcasts of the Premier League from its cable systems.

However, when contacted by the Jamaica Observer, Flow Director of Communications Kayon Mitchell did not say whether the cable company is open to further talks. However, in an e-mail statement, she shared that Flow is unable to add the Premier League to its line-up of sporting content this season, because it would increase the cost of existing television bundles and packages.

The statement went on to say that with VGM's direct provision of access to the Premier League, Flow looks forward to its customers streaming that content through its high-speed Internet provided via mobile prepaid or postpaid services.

BY RACHID PARCHMENT Digital coordinator — sports parchmentr@jamaicaobserver.com

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