Bidders urged to increase offers for Chilean football channel

A committee established by the Chilean Football Association (ANFP) to evaluate offers for pay-television football channel Canal del Fútbol has called for improved bids.

Last week the ANFP received four bids for the channel, reportedly from: US media group Turner, media conglomerates Fox and Liberty Global, and private equity firm Citi Venture Capital.

Following a meeting with the ANFP’s financial adviser, BTG, the committee said “there is a lot of room for improvement” and added that the bids would be considered next week, according to the Cooperativa news website.

The Economia Y Negocios website said a final decision is likely in the middle of this month, with Fox and Turner set to send representatives to Chile “in the next few hours” in an effort to secure a deal for the channel, which is used by the ANFP as a platform for coverage of the top two tiers of domestic club football.

The report added that Fox and Turner would offer one live match per week to national channels.

The committee evaluating the bids comprises club representatives from Palestino, Universidad de Concepción, Santiago Wanderers, Colo Colo, Universidad Católica, Universidad de Chile, Copiapó, Unión San Felipe and Rangers.

The channel is 80-per-cent owned by the ANFP and 20-per-cent owned by businessman Jorge Claro through his channel operator Gestión de Television. In April, the ANFP reached an initial agreement to buy Claro’s stake and has until the end of the year to take up the option.