Union Saint-Gilloise supporters who want to see their team’s first match in the Europa League at Union Berlin will have two options this Thursday, but none will allow them to watch their favorites on live TV at 6:45 p.m. With Anderlecht and Union playing four of their six European matches in the same time slot, RTBF must choose which of the two teams it intends to broadcast live on Tipik. And it is the Mauves who open the ball this week against Silkeborg. “But the choices for the other weeks will be made after each day, not in advance”, assures Benoît Delhauteur, the sports boss of RTBF.
VOO subscribers may have hoped to recover the second match on one of the channels of the Walloon cable operator, which also holds the rights to the Europa and Conference Leagues, for the “second choice” after RTBF, but it will not be. The 2013 decree of the French Community which defines “sporting events of major interest”, such as European matches of Belgian football clubs, requires that these matches be broadcast on a “free access” channel. VOO, which has acquired the “pay TV” rights (Editor’s note: for pay channels) for the two small European Cups does not fall into this box, which explains why it will not broadcast the Union, nor Ghent, this Thursday. Nor Anderlecht the other weeks when the RTBF will broadcast the Union.
Broadcast on Auvio and rebroadcast on Tipik
Working in a positive climate with the RTBF, we are told on both sides, VOO agreed to “sub-license” this second Belgian match to the public channel so that the latter broadcasts it live on its platform Auvio, then on television on Tipik at the end of the evening, after the summaries of the Europa League “which will be shorter than before”, we explain to RTBF.
This is good news for those who are used to connecting to the public channel’s online platform via their computer or smartphone and are not Voo Sport subscribers; a little less for those who have more difficulty with new technologies or remain fans of old-fashioned linear television. This is ultimately the paradox of the decree: supposed to protect the broadcasting of major events, it will prevent Union Berlin-Union SG from being visible on TV at 6:45 p.m. However, mention is made in the text of the decree of a “linear television service with free access”. Is this the case with Auvio? All of this dates back to a time when streaming and OTT (offer online, without going through a TV signal), were just futuristic terms.