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Update Mediapro under the cosh on sports rights - 23-March-2009, 13:20

Mediapro under the cosh on sports rights

Time off for laSexta's main content provider and one of Spain's main TV producers, Mediapro. The company has been accumulating sports rights over the last few years but has failed to get the government to allow pay-DTT so it can commercialize them.

Pay-TV would be the only formula for Mediapro to take financial advantage of the buyout of Spain's Soccer League and the Champions League.

Recently Spain's government gave the green light to a new audiovisual law allowing the merger of private TV broadcasters. This means the law, where there is no reference to pay-DTT, will be put off several months because now the different political parties have to debate the proposals.

As a consequence, and if there's no surprise while the text of the future new audiovisual law is under debate, there will be no Audiovisual General Law thereby closing the gate to pay-DTT, at least before the next soccer season.

Without pay-DTT Mediapro's plans are in danger because the company has so far invested some 500 million yearly in sporting rights that it needs to profit from now.

For the moment Mediapro has only one option, to sell these rights on to pay-TV operators such as Sogecable's satellite pay TV operator Digital+ and cableoperator Ono. Mediapro's own channel Gol TV can only be watched on the internet for the moment so it is difficult the company to benefit from its rights through this channel.
   
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