Spanish Government gives green light to collective La Liga TV rights

DetailsJuan Fernandez Gonzalez | 01 May 2015

Spain's national football competitions will have a different rights management model from the 2016-2017 season, changing from an individual negotiation system in which each club agrees with TV operators to a common framework in which a single entity negotiates terms and then shares the income among the clubs.

Through a new decree sanctioned by the country's Council of Ministers, the model has been radically changed in order that TV income is shared more equally among clubs and to mediate between operators to avoid competition issues in free-to-air (FTA) and pay-TV markets, in line with English and Italian football competitions.

The regulation establishes a commercialisation framework for La Liga's first and second divisions, the Copa del Rey and the Supercopa, whose rights will be sold for no more than three years and can be exclusive or shared among operators, a formula both for TV networks in Spain and in other countries.

Each club will hand over its single rights to a manager administration – either the La Liga organisation or an external entity - which will establish the offer conditions which will be thoroughly analysed by the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC).

Even though such commercialisation can be exclusive, meaning a single operator can purchase all the rights for every competition during the three years, the process will be public and transparent to avoid discrimination in favour of the strongest operators.

The move, which has been eagerly anticipated, particularly by the smaller football clubs, will also share 50% and 70% of the income of first and second divisions' respectively equally among the clubs, with the remaining amount to be shared depending upon results, a club's social importance and size, and the club's power to generate audiovisual income.

The regulation will be effective from the 2016-2017 season as the rights for next season are already being negotiated and have even been sold in many cases