Spanish FA teams with Mediapro, Canal+ to fight piracy
Juan Fernandez Gonzalez
| 10 October 2014
Aiming to stop the pirate online channels which offer live football matches from Spain's La Liga every weekend, Mediapro and Canal+ are joining forces with the professional football association (LFP) and the country's big clubs.

In a event organised by the newspaper La Vanguardia in Barcelona, Mediapro, which owns the national broadcasting rights of La Liga, and Canal+, Spain's largest pay-TV platform, revealed that piracy is having a noticeable effect on income.

"Nowadays, TV rights represent 30% of FC Barcelona incomes," explained Josep Maria Bartomeu, president of Barcelona Football Club, pointing to the importance of pay-TV for the business. "In other countries the clubs earn much more money, while in Spain we share €600 million between the teams," added Javier Tebas, LFP's president, who also pointed out that La Liga's largest TV market is actually Latin America.

Although following the critics against piracy, José Ángel Sánchez, Real Madrid's general manager noted that the TV industry should look at itself regarding piracy. "If it's expensive for the audience to watch El Clásico, then there will be more piracy," he asserted.

Indeed despite owning broadcasting rights for most of national games, Canal+ has been gradually dropping subs over the last few years. According to Mediapro and Canal+, the problem could have a drastic result: broadcasters would stop paying for premium matches such as El Clásico, hinted Jaume Roures, from Mediapro. Canal+'s representative Álex Martínez Roig, agreed with Roures: "we know we are not growing with this model." inShare0