Bolivian clubs mull $100m 10-year media-rights offer from Bolivar president

The 14 Bolivian Primera Divisíon sides are weighing up whether to accept a 10-year media-rights proposal worth $100m (€88.7m) from the president of one of the league’s most successful sides for their media rights.

Bolivian-American businessman Marcelo Claure, president of both Bolívar and MLS side Inter Miami, submitted the offer in a league-wide video conference call on Friday. The offer covers the 2021-30 seasons.

The league’s rights are currently held by the Sport TV Rights agency in a deal worth $4.1m per season and expires at the end of this current season.

The owners and presidents of the remaining 13 sides voted unanimously to void the current tender process, which had already been delayed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Claure’s offer would see $9.6m per season distributed among the 14 sides, while $400,000 per season would go to support amateur Bolivian football associations.

It is not clear at this time whether the funds will be distributed evenly between the sides or if it will be based on each team’s final league position. No details on which platform the matches would be broadcast have been provided.

The Bolivian Football Federation (FBF) has said that it will now require a formal offer to be submitted by Claure. It is expected that Claure will have submitted this letter by June 12.

Claure’s offer falls largely in line with the FBF’s financial goals for the league, which had hoped to generate a deal worth $10m per season for the rights between 2021 and 2024.

In addition to his roles at Bolivar and Inter Miami, Claure is the chief executive officer of SoftBank Group International and chief operating officer of SoftBank Group. SoftBank is a Tokyo-headquartered technology investment fund which generated $88.7bn in revenue in 2019.

He is also an executive chairman of telco Sprint which was acquired by T-Mobile on April 1, 2020. He joined Bolívar as president in 2008 via the Bolivar Administración, Inversiones y Servicios Asociados group. The group acquired the rights to operate the club for 20 years until 2028.

The FBF has reclaimed control over the División Profesional rights from 2021 onwards. The rights reclamation stripped the league’s 14 clubs of negotiating their own broadcast rights in favour of placing the collective negotiating power with the FBF.

It was reported earlier this year that SportTV Rights had registered its interest in the rights going forward, as had US-based broadcasts groups ESPN and Turner. Telecoms operators Comteco, Entel and Fecotel were also reported to have registered, along with commercial broadcaster Unitel, pay-television broadcasters GolTV and Tigo Sport, and Nexus Sports.