La Liga seeks new TV rights model
February 18, 2015
From David Del Valle in Madrid
The English Premier League’s lucrative new TV rights deal has inspired Spain’s La Liga to seek a new model to negotiate with broadcasters for more money – and to install a fair balance between the largest and smallest football teams.
La Liga, with broadcast rights owned by media company Mediapro, is the only top European league in which clubs negotiate their own TV contracts. La Liga wants to change it with a switch to collective bargaining for TV deals.
Currently, there is a huge gap between the largest and the smallest teams in terms of money received from TV broadcasters. The largest clubs, Real Madrid and Barcelona, take the lion’s share with earnings of around €140 million each out of the total €650 million paid by TV broadcasters, whilst others such as Atletico de Madrid and Valencia receive €42 million and the smallest ones such as Betis get just €12 million.
“Unless we urgently move towards centralised TV rights sales, Spanish football is going to have a very serious problem”, said Javier Tebas, president of La Liga who concluded: “Economically, we will end up with a fifth-level competition”.
“We are going to lose a lot of value in the market because the Premier League is going to snap up all of the global TV competition and contracts”, he added.
Many football teams are even threatening to shut down La Liga if the government does not soon pass a law mandating collective bargaining for TV rights.