Forta chief blasts members for contributing to rights ‘bubble’

Jesús López Cabeza, the president of the Forta group of regional public-service broadcasters in Spain, has warned the organisation’s members against acquiring football rights at “prices [that] do not correspond to their usefulness.”

López Cabeza described football rights fee inflation in Spain as a “bubble” and said that Forta’s members had contributed to the escalating fees by over-spending during the “economic boom.”

According to the El Economista news website, López Cabeza said that some regional broadcasters had paid “very high prices for purchasing content and rights that could go beyond the boundaries of their public service mission,” and some had “strayed from their mission completely and entered into competition with light entertainment broadcasters.”

In other news, José Antonio Sánchez, the director general of Radio Televisión Madrid, which operates Telemadrid, said that the Madrid regional broadcaster would not be able to afford any new sports rights next year.

According to the ADSLZone website, severe budget cuts have left Telemadrid with only €200,000 ($254,000) allocated for content acquisitions in 2013, and the money is to be allocated to news coverage.