Orange buys Telefónica football rights; Vodafone waits

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Orange Spain will pay-up for Telefónica’s TV football rights so it can offer its subscribers La Liga and Champions League football. Vodafone has indicated it will wait and see the prices set by Telefónica to resell them.

“Telefónica has the football rights and we will have them [too] but we think that this operator has a dominant position in the market to be taken into account by the CNMC”, said Laurent Paillasot, CEO of Orange.

By law, Telefónica is obliged to r sell the rights to third operators at a reasonable price to guarantee free competition. Vodafone believes that Telefónica has overpaid by 15 per cent for the rights and will wait until a price is set to make a final decision.

“La Liga has sold the rights with a 15 per cent inflation. We are expecting a price from Telefónica. We will see whether we buy el Partidazo (the best football match every week) or the Champions League. Subscribers like football but do not like to pay [high] for it”, said Antonio Coimbra, CEO of Vodafone. “We will take a decision depending on the price”.


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