The Argentinian government has reached a deal with US media companies Fox and Turner to subsidise free-to-air coverage of the country’s top-tier Primera División football competition for the first three months of next season.
Fox and Turner were jointly awarded rights by the Argentinian Football Association for five seasons, from 2017-18 to 2021-22, with an option to extend by a further five seasons until the end of the 2026-27 season.
The award of the rights signalled the end of the long-running Fútbol para Todos (Football for All) scheme, in which the government subsidised free-to-air coverage of domestic football.
The new season will kick off on August 20 and the free-to-air coverage will run until November 20. After that, subscribing to the coverage will cost ARS300 (€17/$19) per month.
The three-month period of free viewing has also been approved by pay-television operators Cablevisión, DirecTV and Telecentro, which will carry the channels showing the coverage, according to reports.
Argentinian newspaper La Nación suggested that the move by the government could be politically motivated, with the legislative elections due to take place in late October.