GolTV Snares Copa America

New York— GolTV has put the exclusive English-language telecast rights in the United States to the Copa America soccer tournament in the back of the net.

During an announcement at its upfront presentation to advertisers here Wednesday, GolTV CEO Enzo Francescoli told media buyers that the network has acquired the rights to the 12-team, 26-match tournament, terms of which were not disclosed, from Traffic Sports Marketing.

The tournament — featuring the national sides from the U.S., Brazil, Paraguay and host country Venezuela — kicks off June 26 and runs through July 16. The United States’ first Group-C match is scheduled against Argentina June 28 at 8:45 p.m. (ET). GolTV’s coverage will mark the first time the tourney has been televised in English in the U.S.

The network — with a feed that can be switched between English and Spanish and which now counts 11 million subscribers on basic, sports tiers and Spanish-language packages — also announced that it is undertaking a new branding effort and on-air redesign.

The new look, with an accent on orange and blue, will showcase the network’s programming, featuring eye-catching on-screen graphics with the faces of such stars as Ronaldinho, Raul and Pavel Pardo and other top players in the Spanish and German leagues.

GolTV’s logo changed, as well. The new branding utilizes the established “ball and arch” marks, but creates a greater emphasis on the word GolTV. Marketing messages will include the tagline “your home team.”

Elsewhere, advertisers now have the opportunity to sponsor a series of on-air and online vignettes, according to advertising-sales manager Jagdeep Wadhwani. In conjunction with Spanish-language portal Terra.com, the “4 Gigabyte” offer features top soccer players talking about music on-air, before leaders in the music realm complete the loop by discussing fútbol online. Wadhwani said 50 content clips had been produced.

The transaction under which SCP Worldwide — a sports, entertainment and media company whose principles include former Madison Square Garden and CSTV executives Dave Checketts and Chris Bevilacqua — would take a majority ownership stake in GolTV still has not been finalized, according to SCP and GolTV executives at the upfront presentation, which featured an appearance by Brazilian soccer legend Pele.