Deadline set for Spanish Supercopa international rights bids

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has issued a bid deadline of November 28 for international broadcast rights to the Spanish Supercopa, the next three editions of which will be held in Saudi Arabia.

The invitation to tender documents were issued yesterday (Tuesday) as two concurrent sales processes were launched in Europe and the rest of the world.

Broadcast rights on offer cover the 2019-20 to 2021-22 period, matching the contract term in place with Saudi authorities.

The international rights sales processes come despite the CNMC, Spain’s competition watchdog, this week claiming that the RFEF’s domestic and international Supercopa tenders violate the 2015 Royal Decree which governs the sale of broadcast rights in Spain.

Spain’s Supercopa has traditionally pitted the winners of LaLiga against the Copa del Rey victors in a two-legged final but the competition is this season expanding to a ‘Final Four’ format that comprises two semi-finals and a final. LaLiga champions Barcelona and cup winners Valencia will both take part, along with Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid as the competition moves from its August slot to January.

The first semi-final will take place on Wednesday, January 8 at 8pm (CET), followed by the second semi-final 24 hours later. The final will be staged on Sunday, January 12 at 7pm. It has been reported that the matches will be held at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah.

Sportradar is working with the RFEF as an advisor on its international rights sales and can therefore not bid for rights. The agency is also advising the domestic association on its Copa del Rey international rights sales and the split of Supercopa rights by territories is similar in nature to that implemented for the knockout clubs competition.

On Friday, the RFEF announced that it had brought a total of nearly €80m – or €26.7m per season – from the sale of the Copa del Rey domestic and selected international rights from 2019-20 to 2021-22. Mediaset, the free-to-air commercial broadcaster, was awarded the rights in Spain although only the rights in “part of Europe” and “part of the rest of the world” were awarded. The announcement this week prompted a stiff rebuke from Mediapro, the agency and production group that is considering a legal bid for damages.

Supercopa rights in Europe have been split up into 31 country-specific packages. These are: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland (including Liechtenstein).

There is also a ‘regional’ package covering the UK and Ireland. Language-specific non-exclusive rights in Luxembourg are available in the Belgium, France and Germany packages.

There are 16 (non-EU) territories in the RFEF’s concurrent “international markets” rights sales ITT. These include Israel, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and Central Asian countries.

In the Middle East and North Africa, there is an exclusive Saudi Arabia package on offer, along with a regional package covering the rest of the region. A total of 19-territory specific packages are on offer elsewhere in Asia, plus single packages in Australia and New Zealand.

Rights in Africa have been split by language. Separate sub-Saharan rights packages for exclusive coverage in English and French are available, along with a Portuguese-language package covering Angola, Capo Verde and Mozambique, while markets included in the Swahili-language package include cover Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. There is also a standalone package in South Africa.

Interested parties can bid across a total of five rights packages in the Americas, namely those covering Brazil, Canada, Mexico, South America (excluding Brazil) and USA. The ‘Mexico’ package also includes exclusive rights in Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Savador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, plus non-exclusive rights in the Caribbean (also included in the USA package).

According to the timeline set out by the RFEF, the body intends to ratify the rights awards by December 13 and formalise the contracts by December 20.