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CNMC rules in favour of Mediaset in LaLiga rights dispute

The Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y La Competencia (CNMC), Spain’s competition regulator, has ruled that LaLiga must provide a 90-second summary of every game from the top division of domestic football and allow free access to stadiums for broadcasters.

The ruling comes following a complaint from commercial broadcaster Mediaset in September. Mediaset cameras had initially been banned from Spanish top-tier matches by LaLiga after the broadcaster refused to accept conditions imposed on free-to-air broadcasters regarding limits of 90 seconds per weekend on match recaps.

LaLiga imposed the restrictions in an effort to protect the rights of public-service broadcaster TVE, which acquired free-to-air rights for the top tier for the 2015-16 season. Mediaset, which owns the Telecinco and Cuatro channels, had argued there should be coverage of each game and the CNMC has ruled in its favour. 

The CNMC stressed “the unquestionable social relevance of professional sports” in Spain. However, it said TVE’s rival broadcasters could only show the clips twice in a 24-hour period.

The CNMC noted that its decision can be appealed in front of the Audiencia Nacional, the Spanish high court.