Liberty Media won't bid for Digital+

John Malone's Liberty Media was one of most interested groups in buying out Digital+ but has decided against going on with a bid.

Liberty Media has no presence in Spain but has tried to enter the market in the past. In particular some four years ago it was interested in the purchase of telco Auna's telephony service which was finally integrated with top cable operator Ono.

Companies in the running for Digital+, which is valued around €3.800 million, include Telefónica, Vivendi, Mediaset, France Télécom and News Corporation.

But the operator's final value will depend on soccer rights. Here Digital+ is still fighting with laSexta's Mediapro over who has the important league rights from 2009 to 2013.

If Sogecable fails to reach an agreement with Mediapro and loses these rights its value, together with the fact its pay-per-view business is going through a downturn, will be half what its owners claim it is today. This is why Sogecable could very well postpone Digital+'s sale until next year.