Spanish commercial broadcaster La Sexta owes its parent company, the Mediapro agency, an outstanding fee of €54 million ($66.7 million) for the free-to-air rights to games during the 2011-12 season of La Liga, the country’s top football division, according to news website El Economista.
According to the report, La Sexta’s delay in paying Mediapro has hampered the agency’s attempts to distribute rights payments to Liga clubs, leading to threats of legal action by some clubs against Mediapro.
The website said that La Sexta is struggling to pay the fee due to financial problems. The company posted a €61 million operating loss for 2011. It said in June 2012 that it had suffered a 33.6-per-cent fall in advertising revenues year-on-year, to €95 million.
La Sexta, which will continue to broadcast one Liga game per week and a highlights programme during the 2012-13 season, had its rights contract to show the 2012 Formula One motor-racing campaign cancelled by Mediapro in January after failing to pay a rights fee instalment.