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Football Broadcasting War: Spanish TV Deal Could Stop Liga BBVA's Kickoff

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Spanish Liga BBVA might start with a strike once again. This time it won't be about the player's situation but the TV deal and games schedule, as teams like Atlético de Madrid, Valencia, and Sevilla are very unhappy with the current TV situation in Spain.

There are two main TV platforms where spectators can watch soccer games: GolT (Mediapro) and Canal+ (Sogecable). Each of these two platforms negotiates an individual contract with each of the 20 teams of the Liga. Mediapro, for example, has the TV rights for FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, while Sogecable owns Atlético, Valencia and Sevilla's. These past few years, both Sogecable and Mediapro reached an agreement so that both of them could broadcast teams with rights they didn't own.

But everything is different this year. There are only two weeks remaining until the competition starts, and at this point in time, Sogecable will not be able to broadcast the game between Real Madrid and Valencia played at the Bernabéu. Everything would seem kind of legitimate if it wasn't for one thing: the LFP (the association, such as the NBA) is scheduling Sogecable's games to be at 23:00 CET to take away from their audience. They are institutionally favoring Mediapro.

Neither the teams nor Sogecable agree with this. The powerful broadcasting enterprise is willing to wait until the Spanish court decides instead of reaching an agreement with Mediapro that could cost them a large amount of money. But they could lose tons of subscribers if they're not able to broadcast the two biggest clubs in Spain.

The clubs that signed with Sogecable feel attacked as well. It's obvious that 23:00 CET is probably not the best time to play, but these clubs could not only lose sport-wise. If the games are played at that time, only the die-hard fans will go to the stadium, so the ticket revenues will decrease substantially.

It looks as if everything could be solved this incoming week. Even the Spanish Government said they could force both companies to reach an agreement and stop this "Football Broadcasting War III", but it will be hard for Sogecable, like Mediapro, is struggling financially.

Do you think the LFP's game scheduling is legitimate? Tell us on facebook or twitter @managingmadrid.

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