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Four clubs out of LaLiga international rights package, as Microsoft denies Real reports

The collective international rights deal for LaLiga, the new brand name of the Spanish Football League, will not include champion Barcelona, Espanyol, Celta Vigo or Real Sociedad, while US technology company Microsoft has denied reports that it has struck a deal with Real Madrid for its international rights.

LaLiga has engaged 38 of the 42 professional clubs in Spain’s top two divisions in its new collective model to begin from the 2015-16 season and has appointed the Mediapro agency to negotiate with interested parties.

Telecommunications company Telefónica in February dislodged Mediapro as Barcelona’s official rights-holder for the 2015-16 season. The contract was scheduled to run for one season ahead of the introduction of a collective rights model for the Liga in the 2016-17 campaign.

However, Mediapro agreed a deal with LaLiga last week to allow a centralised rights-sales process to be introduced from the start of 2015-16. Mediapro agreed to release 38 clubs from their current rights agreements with the agency, allowing the new process to be brought in immediately.

A LaLiga spokesman told the Reuters news agency today (Wednesday) that Espanyol, Celta Vigo and Real Sociedad, along with Barcelona, also have deals with Telefónica and would not be included in the Mediapro collective package.

LaLiga said on Monday that international deals for the Spanish top tier will be struck regardless of whether it has complete control of clubs’ media rights for the 2015-16 season. LaLiga said that all television operators interested in making offers or requesting information can do so until June 29. The deadline for bids was initially June 26.

Meanwhile, there have been reports in the Spanish media that Real Madrid has sold its international rights for their games next season to Microsoft. However, a Microsoft spokesman told Reuters that was not the case and their technology agreement with Real did not include audiovisual rights.

Real Madrid last month joined forces with Microsoft, to launch a new app through which access to the club’s in-house television channel, Real Madrid TV, is set to be provided to its global fan base.