Delay on Prisa/Mediapro merger details

Iñaki Ferreras

Spain's largest media groups, Prisa, owner of pay-TV operator Sogecable and Mediapro, owner of the laSexta channel, have given themselves fifteen more days to reach an agreement on a future merger.

The reason for the delay is that the companies cannot agree on the percentage ownership each should get once the merger is made. And complicating matters is the ever-present spectre of Spain’s TV football rights.

Sogecable recently launched Canal+ Liga to directly compete with Mediapro's sports pay-TV channel Gol TV, which Mediapro wants to launch as a pay-DTT service.

Sogecable launched its new sporting channel because the company needs to profit from the big investments it has also made on soccer rights. Prisa will pay Mediapro some €700 million to get a three-year contract for the soccer league for the next three seasons.

This high figure could very well unbalance the numbers of the company which at the moment has a debt higher than €5,000 million.