Possible final whistle for free to air football in Spain

Iñaki Ferreras ©RapidTVNews | 11-04-2012

Spain’s in-the-clear football broadcasts are in danger of disappearing when the current La Liga season ends in May 2012.
At the heart of what could be a severe blow for the many passionate football fans currently engrossed in the battle between Real Madrid and Barcelona for the championship, in the country is the plain fact that no conventional TV channel wants to pay for television rights and the rights of the current holder, Mediapro’s laSexta, will end following its merger with Grupo Planeta’s Antena 3.
It is hoped, and already speculated, that Telecinco and indeed Antena 3 and are willing to bid for the TV rights for the 2012-2013 season. But there is a general consensus sin the nation’s TV industry that football rights are too expensive for the channels in the midst of the current advertising downturn. It is widely assumed that laSexta had paid €50 million for each of the three seasons it had signed for and that neither Telecinco nor Antena 3 are willing to account for that amount.
Meanwhile, Canal + has asked the new cut-making Spanish government to "end the anachronistic obligation" to deliver La Liga matches freely. The pay-TV platform wants all televised games to be charged for.