Court ruling impacts Bolivian Football Federation’s rights award

The Bolivian Football Federation (FBF) is set to be forced to launch another broadcast rights tender after vice-president Robert Blanco secured a court ruling declaring the appointment of Marcos Rodríguez as interim president is unconstitutional.

Blanco took issue with the appointment of Rodríguez as he was also seeking to replace former president César Salinas. Significantly, the court order declares that all actions taken by the FBF Executive Committee since July 23 should be declared null and void, a period that takes in the latest rights tender and award of a contract.

Indeed, the latest development comes just days after it was revealed that the Sports TV Rights agency is poised to renew its media rights for the top tier of Bolivian domestic football with the FBF for a four-year cycle between 2021 and 2024.

The rights cover all matches to the División Profesional as well as second-tier División Aficionados and the Copa Simón Bolívar, knockout cup competition. The agency will reportedly pay $46.5m (€39.1m) over the deal’s lifespan.

Sports TV Rights was chosen by the FBF Executive Committee as the best offer received after facing competition from two other media companies; telco Telefónica Celular de Bolivia (Telecel) and GolTV, the pay-television broadcaster active in the Americas.

The FBF had previously announced that Telecel’s offer was worth $46m, while GolTV’s offer was revealed to be worth $49,979276 and included a revenue-sharing element.

The FBF said earlier this month that Sports TV Rights’ offer was worth $46.5m over the four years, though the agency’s director José Quiroga disputed the accuracy of the rival bid figures. He also said that the incumbent’s offer was equal to $41m in rights fees, plus just over $5m to produce the video assistant referee (VAR) system in both leagues.

Sports TV Rights’ current rights for the properties are worth $4.1m per season and expire at the end of the current season. The federation previously set out terms for a four-year contract, with a base total amount of $45m – an average of $11.25m per season – being requested. Bidders also had to provide financing for the implementation of the VAR technology in FBF competitions.

The tender process was given a deadline of August 10 for first-round bids which would then be assessed on that same day. The original tender was cancelled in early July after attracting criticism from a number of sources.

Bolivian newspaper Los Tiempos said the current situation surrounding the governance of the FBF will be discussed by the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol).

Blanco said: “Everything that has been done since July 23 in the federation is void. I will go to the FBF and call an Executive Committee (meeting). I will speak with vice-president Marcos Rodríguez and the directors, we will call together the Council of the División Profesional and División Aficionados.”