17 years ago, Globo and SBT had fierce competition and even starred in a fight to broadcast the Paulista Championship
Who today sees the friendly relationship between Globe and SBT, you can hardly imagine that in the early 2000s, the two broadcasters promoted historic clashes and had an extreme rivalry relationship.
It all started in 2001, when the kidnapping of Silvio Santos and his daughter, Patrícia Abravanel, was highlighted in the main news of Grupo Globo, something that displeased the family of the owner of the Baú.
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That same year, Globo and SBT fought in court, since the Rio de Janeiro station accused Silvio Santos of plagiarize the Big Brother format with Casa dos Artistas. In response to the competitor at the time, SBT cited, in a critical tone, precisely the overexposure that the kidnapping gained through Globo.
At the end of 2002, the relationship between the two broadcasters seemed a little more relaxed, but it was shaken again after a fight over another product: o Paulista championship.
Silvio Santos wished to return to investing in football broadcasts after showing the Copa do Brasil and Copa Mercosul in 1998. The owner of the trunk had Paulistão as its first target. Globo already had a contract with the São Paulo Football Federation for the exhibition of the last seasons of the championship, but in November 2002, it rejected a proposal by the São Paulo Football Federation to transmit, in the following year, 12 league games for about R $ 12 millions.
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The tournament was then offered to SBT, and Silvio Santos agreed to pay the amount, but for the display of 22 matches and exclusively on open TV. Globo, however, revolted, claiming that it had a preference, in contract, to renew the championship’s exhibition link, and for 22 games, believed that it would be a good deal.
Therefore, at the end of December, the broadcaster sent a fax to the Federation of São Paulo, stating that it matched the SBT proposal and demanded its supposed right of preference in renewing the contract. However, the Federation claimed that the fax had already been sent during the recess period, and decided to keep the agreement with SBT.
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With the rivalry between the two broadcasters and the obsession with ending Globo’s “monopoly”, Silvio Santos dreamed big and planned to spend around R $ 200 million to take even the Brazilian Championship of Globo and turn the SBT into “ sports channel ”. In a press release about Paulistão’s broadcast, the broadcaster did not miss the opportunity to pin the competitor: “The monopolistic phase of Brazilian football and games at absurd times are now over, convenient only for the network that had the monopoly ”.
In the beginning of 2003, Globo did not let it go and was already threatening to go to court to stop the agreement between the Paulista Federation and SBT, while Silvio Santos’ broadcaster responded by trying to convince football clubs to break with the competitor to broadcast the Brasileirão .
On January 24, the eve of the opening of the Paulista Championship, Globo had obtained an injunction that gave it the right to broadcast the competition. However, SBT arranged another injunction in court, which allowed it to display the matches. Thus, on the 25th, the two broadcasters appeared together at the Ramalhão stadium, each with their preliminary injunction, to broadcast the opening game of the competition between Santo André and Santos.
Hours before the start of the match, SBT provided a live coverage of the case, with the program Frankly speaking, presented by Sônia Abrão, who showed indignation at the presence of Globo in the stadium. The Federation of São Paulo was on the side of Silvio Santos’ broadcaster, and even stopped part of Globo’s team from entering the site, but the broadcaster still managed to set up a structure with some cameras to show the game.
The Paulista Federation did not dare to take Globo’s equipment by force, because, according to information from the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo at the time, employees made a mess and almost took the SBT itself off the air.
During the break, the Federation of São Paulo delayed the restart of the match by up to half an hour, all to make Globo give up the broadcast so as not to delay its programming, but it did not help. Despite all this confusion, Globo kept its public loyal and defeated the SBT in the audience: 16 points to 5.
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And do not stop there. Days later, Globo ended up recovering the rights to broadcast the Campeonato Paulista. Even so, SBT insisted on showing the tournament, and even made “maneuvers” to take some games in the air.
In the midst of this judicial battle, there was a moment when the Justice decided that the two broadcasters could transmit Paulistão, but SBT would still have the final word to decide the time of the matches. Until a semifinal appears with the greatest classic from São Paulo: Palmeiras x Corinthians. Silvio Santos’ broadcaster, who is not a fool, decided, then, that the game would take place on a Wednesday, at 9:00 pm, something that would complicate Globo’s life with Mulheres Apaixonadas, its prime-time soap opera at the time.
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The strategy, again, had no effect. Globo took everyone by surprise and decided to change its entire programming schedule just to show the match and not allow SBT to broadcast the classic alone. More than that: Globo chose Galvão Bueno, its main narration star, to command the game’s transmission. SBT did not leave cheap and devised an unusual strategy for a big star to also narrate the match.
The idea was to make a kind of agreement with Band to “borrow” the late Luciano do Valle to narrate the game on SBT. In return, José Luiz Datena would go to Legal Sunday to publicize the debut of Urgent Brazil on the Band. Again, despite the difficulties, Globo came out victorious, and by a large margin: in the audience, the score was 39 points to 13.
Even so, SBT repeated its strategy again, placing the Championship final, played between Corinthians and São Paulo, at an unusual time for Globo: a Sunday at 6 pm, forcing the Rio de Janeiro station to change its grid again. programming.
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SBT ended up losing Paulistão’s broadcasting rights the following year, and Globo remains, today, as the main holder of the championship. Silvio Santos, who had big plans in relation to the transmission of football, had no more strength to cheer on his competitor, and since then, he managed to transmit only the Gold Cup and the Northeast Cup, which is shown only regionally.
In recent years, Globo’s great rivals in football were the clubs themselves, which began to charge higher amounts to sign with the broadcaster for broadcasting championships. Last year, Esporte Interativo also dared to challenge Globo’s monopoly, and with the help of the Turner group, it even disbursed a fortune to broadcast some games of the Brazilian Championship, but only on pay TV. On open TV, the Rio station remains “sovereign”.