Gol TV disappears from Movistar Imagenio, but soccer will return

Iñaki Ferreras ©RapidTVNews | 25-06-2012

Gol TV, the football channel produced by Mediapro, will no longer be available for Movistar Imagenio subscribers from 1 July.

The absence of the channel, which has been available with the TV Family Package at no extra cost since 2009, will result in significant loss of content, although it will only be temporarily, assures Telefónica which will supply football through Movistar Imagenio from next season through an agreement with Prisa TV.

Last season Movistar Imagenio led in cable and DSL with a new channel on Rush TV, Pass Football, which showed highlights of four games a day, complementing those offered by Canal + 1 and Gol TV, and this was gradually introduced to other operators. Movistar also has Imagenio Football Replay channel, which offers viewers the opportunity to see matches from recent seasons.

According to media reports, Telefónica (owner of Movistar Imagenio) and Rush (owner of Prisa TV and a majority stakeholder in Canal +, with Telefónica and Mediaset) are preparing an operation concentrating on sports broadcast rights through which Movistar Imagenio could incorporate a wide range of sports programming only currently available on Canal +, which would show all league matches. This approach would need to maintain channels in the drip tray Mediapro channel Gol TV, hence the disappearance of the platform and the announcement that football will again be available next year.

In addition to Gol TV, the platform will drop other channels such as Disney Channel children's and Disney Cinemagic +1 +1, the EWTN religious channel, the Parliament Channel institutional channel and external versions of some regional channels.

One of the reasons underlying these moves has been the total number of subscribers to Gol TV and the number of Movistar Imagenio customers who could access the channel without having to pay for it separately. Once the channel becomes unavailable, Telefónica’s total client base will drop significantly to about half, which will result in a sharp reduction in income.