Spain's watchdog ruins La Liga plans


Juan Fernandez Gonzalez

| 19 September 2015

Mediaset's free-to-air (FTA) DTT channels in Spain have been granted permission to re-enter football stadiums by the country's competition authority, CNMC.

The private TV group had been banned by La Liga as public broadcaster RTVE kept exclusivity on match recaps.

Following Spain's general law for audiovisual communication, the CNMC has forced La Liga to allow FTA channels Cuatro and TeleCinco to film inside all first and second division football stadiums.

When La Liga sold its rights, Telefónica won the live game broadcasting rights and later resold them to Spain's main pay-TV operators. RTVE acquired the rights to extensive recaps of every game. Then, La Liga decided to only allow 90-second broadcasts of football content every weekend for the other FTA networks, in order to protect RTVE's exclusivity.

When Mediaset said it wouldn't accept the conditions, La Liga banned the group from entering the football fields.

"Providers of audiovisual communication services are allowed to enter, within the authorised area, every space in which general interest events are taking place", said the CNMC.

At present the ruling is temporary and the CNMC will issue a final decision within three months.