RTP Desporto

Division of: RTP
Key people: Nuno Santos
Headquarters: Lisbon, Portugal
Major Broadcasting Contracts: Portugal National Football Team Friendly and Qualifying Matches
Olympic Games
Website: rtp.pt/desporto

RTP Desporto is the sports division of the Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP). It is controlled by News division of RTP. Its flagship programming are the National Football Team matches on Tuesdays and Fridays and the Futsal First Division matches on Sundays.

The official website of RTP Desporto is rtp.pt/desporto, and one of the most visited of the News division of the RTP website.

Radio coverage of RTP is mostly on RDP Antena 1.

RTP also offers HDTV coverage of some events, such as the National Football Team matches and Estoril Open.

TV Sports Rights


Nowadays, RTP broadcasts the national football team games, broadcasting also some club pre-season friendly matches and tournaments during summer. They broadcast the UEFA Euro 2012, in conjunction with SIC, TVI and SportTV and have exclusive broadcasting rights for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.


RTP does not give much airtime to tennis. They broadcast a few highlights on Portuguese minor competitions and they fully broadcast the Estoril Open.

Rugby union

On rare occasions RTP broadcast Portuguese Rugby Union Championship matches. However they had totally disappeared from RTP schedules since 2004.

There was also a controversy in 2007, when CDS-PP, a center-right party, wanted RTP to broadcast the 2007 Rugby World Cup, since Portugal had qualified for it. However RTP administrators said the network would not broadcast the event, since they do not have the rights, and since the rights holders (SportTV) did not want to sell them.

Motor racing

For several years, RTP was the home of motor racing broadcasts in Portugal. MotoGP, Formula 1, WRC and the Dakar Rally were broadcast on RTP. However, from 2006 that would entirely change when SportTV outbid RTP for the Formula 1 rights.

Now the only motorsports competition on RTP is the Rally de Portugal.


RTP holds exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympics on free-to-air terrestrial television. RTP broadcasts a major coverage during the Summer Olympics, while during the Winter Olympics only highlights are shown.


For several years, RTP has followed the tracks of Portuguese athletes in athletics. The major international athletics competitions are all broadcast on RTP, with supplementary coverage by Eurosport. The events are: IAAF World Championships in Athletics, European Athletics Championships and World Championship on Indoor surfaces. RTP also broadcasts some local events such as the Meia-Maratona de Lisboa and Meia-Maratona do Porto. RTP has also access to highlights of the Portuguese Championship.


RTP broadcasts one game per week of the Portuguese Futsal Premier League and its playoffs in its entirety. European Championships are also broadcast, such as the UEFA Futsal Cup.

Previous coverage


RTP broadcast during almost 50 years the Portuguese Liga, broadcasting several games a week. However, in 2004, when SportTV took total control of Liga's rights, they sold a two-year, 32-game package to TVI, a decision that was not appreciated be football fans, as many consider that the TVI sports division does not have the quality to cover a big league.

RTP recovered Liga's rights in 2008, for an undisclosed fee (the only that was known, is that RTP gave a fee plus some sports rights that they were not going to be used, since they didn't have programming slots available for them at that time). RTP's bid and victory was cheered by football fans, as they consider the RTP's coverage in the 2000s, superior to the TVI one. However this bid was criticized by politicians who thought and saw this as a waste of money by a public service corporation. RTP again lost the rights for Liga's coverage, when TVI outbid their controversial 20 million euros bid.

During a brief period of two years, RTP also had no access to the national football team events (events that they used to broadcast since 1957), since TVI won the right for the 2008–2010 period, which included the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign. In 2010, RTP recovered the rights to broadcast the national team events.

It also broadcast the UEFA Europa League (when it was called UEFA Cup); however, SIC outbid them in 2009.

One of the RTP's staples was also the UEFA Champions League. However, due to excessive budget cuts, RTP decided not to submit an offer to UEFA's ITT, a decision that TVI all alone for the FTA rights ITT of the competition. TVI would eventually get the rights, although pages would spread across social networks asking for RTP to get the rights back at the next ITT, due to the poor quality of TVI's coverage compared to the RTP one.


In Motorsport, RTP lost almost all of important competition rights, such as Formula 1, MotoGP, WRC (lost to SportTV) and the Dakar Rally (lost to TVI).

Radio sports rights

RTP has exclusive radio rights for the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and Portugal national football team matches. RTP also broadcast exclusively the 2006 FIFA World Cup and 2010 FIFA World Cup on radio.

See also

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