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Spain: Fresh football war brewing

The acquisition by Telefonica’s Movistar of the exclusive rights to La Liga over the next three years threatens to cause a new football TV war in Spain.

Telefonica’s main rivals Vodafone and Orange have demanded access to La Liga rights over the next three seasons. The companies argue that the dominant operator should open up the rights to others to guarantee free competition in the market in compliance with the legal limits imposed by the competition authorities to green light its merger with Canal Plus. The limits set out that Telefonica is obliged to give access to 50 per cent of its premium channels, including football content, to each operator.

The president of Mediapro, Jaumer Roures, has said that both Vodafone and Orange will have to negotiate with Telefonica if they want to screen La Liga matches from next season.

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