Stranded clubs accept TV deal

Greece’s cash-strapped soccer clubs yesterday accepted a broadcasting deal with a private TV station that, together with advertising and state broadcasting agreements, could be worth some 15 million euros – to be shared among 18 teams. The Association of Professional Football Clubs (EPAE) said it would sign an agreement today with Alpha TV, rejecting an offer by pay-TV Super Sport, a subsidiary of NetMed Hellas which formerly owned last year’s championship runners-up, AEK. Alpha TV will pay eight first division and 10 second and third division clubs 8 million euros. EPAE hopes broadcasting rights for three-minute edited excerpts on state TV, state radio rights and deals with the state-run sports lottery OPAP and private Intralot lottery firm will raise another 7 million. It is unclear if PAOK Thessaloniki, the ninth first division club left floundering after Alpha Digital pay-TV went bankrupt in September, will also sign. Last season’s champions, Olympiakos, will get a 29 percent cut – two-fifths of what Alpha Digital was to have paid – and AEK 20.5 percent. Another seven first division clubs already have contracts with Super Sport.