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Spain: Government steps in to football rights war

August 15, 2012

From David Del Valle in Madrid

The Spanish government is mediating in the dispute between Canal Plus and Mediapro, shareholder in La Sexta and pay DTT channel Gol TV, over football TV rights to guarantee the start of La Liga this weekend and avoid a greater conflict with the football teams involved.

The Sports Minister, Miguel Cardenal, is participating in the negotiations with all parties involved, broadcasters and football clubs aimed at putting an end to the dispute, with 13 La Liga teams asking the “TV operators to establish a stable framework to ensure the fair distribution of broadcasting rights for all clubs in the Primera Division,” according to the president of Real Betis, Miguel Guillén.

The teams are in favour of a collective TV rights deal, rather than the individual model which currently exists and allows Barcelona and Real Madrid to take more than half of broadcast revenues generated in the league.

“We fully agree that the way football is organised in Germany would be an ideal formula to be applied in Spain,” said Guillén.

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