Chivas seeks to replicate domestic rights model in US market

Mexican Liga MX football club Club Deportivo Guadalajara has signalled its intention to replicate its new domestic model of exploiting its rights in-house by taking the same approach for the US market.

The club, commonly known as Chivas, had partnered with Mexican pay-television operator Televisa since 1994 but in May said this relationship would end with an in-house platform developed instead.

Chivas has since adopted an online-only model in its home country, charging users a fee to watch matches, behind-the-scenes footage and commentary. Chivas chief executive Jose Luis Higuera has now told the Bloomberg news agency that the club intends to end its partnership with US broadcaster Univision when its contract comes up in 2018.

Stating its new domestic model has helped Chivas better reflect its value, Higuera said “our best moment is going to be the 2018 fall season, when we’re open to the whole world”.

Higuera said Chivas could still extend its deal with Univision if a lucrative offer is made, although he considered such an eventuality unlikely. “Why shouldn’t we get the same amount of money the NFL gets?” he said. “It shouldn’t be that a European club in the Premier League gets seven times as much as I do.”

Chivas was the Liga MX’s most-watched team, pulling in 1.3 million viewers per match, in its spring season last year on Univision. The broadcaster holds deals with 13 of the 18 Liga MX teams, more than any other US media company.

“We look forward to the opportunity to renegotiate our exclusive Chivas de Guadalajara soccer club package and extend our valued relationship,” Univision said in a statement.