Spanish pay-TV operators are increasingly putting pressure on Mediapro, holder of the Champions League and Europa League TV rights, to reduce the asking price for the football rights.
Ángel Vilá, CEO of Telefónica, warned there exists “a real possibility” that his company will not acquire the Champions League rights for the next three seasons. He said that the Champions League and La Liga TV rights are “attractive content” for subscribers but only “at a reasonable price”.
Orange is also intensifying its lobby campaign. “We are not willing to feed a bubble of the football TV market”, said Samuel Muñoz, Marketing Director at Orange.
“We have made a bid for the rights at a reasonable price; the problem is not football it is the price for football,” added the CEO of Orange Laurent Paillassot.
Both Telefónica and Orange submitted a bid for the rights at a price much lower than Mediapro’s €1.3 billion expectation. Now the operators are trying to force Mediapro to negotiate with them.
Vodafone has pulled out of the rights race.