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GolTV regains rights to Ecuadorian football leagues

Pan-regional pay-television broadcaster GolTV has regained rights to Primera Categoría Serie A and Serie B, the top two divisions of Ecuadorian football, following a period of upheaval in the broadcast of the sport in the country.

The 24 Serie A and Serie B clubs have ratified a deal with GolTV, which the El Universo newspaper said will return the rights to the broadcaster across the same 10-year period as the original contract it had signed.

Last June, the Ecuadorian Football Federation (FEF) unveiled a 10-year deal with GolTV, granting the company rights to Serie A and Serie B for 10 years, from 2018 to 2027. However, the contract 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.

The 24 clubs this month regained control of the broadcast rights to the leagues from the FEF following a five-year period in which the federation has handled talks. Earlier this month, pay-television broadcaster DirecTV saw its sole bid for the rights to Serie A and Serie B rejected by the FEF, leading to the clubs discussing the potential for seizing control of the commercial rights to the leagues.

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

El Universo said DirecTV had also made an offer to the clubs for the broadcast rights, alongside bids from commercial broadcaster Teleamazonas and pay-television broadcaster Fox Sports Latin America.

Jorge Salazar, a representative of Macará, said that GolTV’s offer was chosen as the company had improved its offer, while clubs were uneasy over the prospect of compensation demands from the broadcaster as a result of the annulment of its original deal.

The leagues have been missing from Ecuadorian television screens since February as a result of the dispute.