FEF rejects sole offer for Ecuadorian football rights

Pay-television broadcaster DirecTV has seen its sole bid for the rights to the Primera Categoría Serie A and Serie B rejected by the Ecuadorian Football Federation (FEF), with clubs set to discuss the potential for seizing control of the commercial rights to the leagues.

The FEF announced that DirecTV, which put forward the only offer in a new bidding process, has had its proposal rejected as it did not meet two key requirements of the tender released on March 8.

Last June, the FEF unveiled a 10-year deal with pan-regional pay-television broadcaster GolTV, granting the company rights to the Primera Categoría Serie A and Serie B for 10 years, from 2018 to 2027.

The contract was worth a guaranteed $276m (€222.4m) but was challenged in the courts amid unease as to how the rights were awarded. In a ruling last month, it was determined that a new rights contest be held, stating that the deal between GolTV and the FEF should be considered null and void.

In response, FEF president Carlos Villacís said a new tender process would be launched for the period 2018 to 2028, but maintained this would be carried out “under protest” following what he described as an “illegal decision”.

Nassib Neme, president of Club Sport Emelec, has now said the clubs will seek to take control of the process, with an extraordinary congress scheduled to discuss the matter on Friday.

Neme said, according to local newspaper El Comercio: “The rights have to go back to the clubs. The Federation did not have the capacity to handle the issue.”

He added: “The idea is to confirm the Liga Profesional and take control of the commercial obligations of the championship.”