Leading Bolivian clubs plan to shun tender and sell TV rights individually

Four of Bolivia’s leading football clubs have signalled their intention not to participate in a broadcast rights tender process planned by the Bolivian Football Federation (FBF).

Primera Divisíon teams Bolívar, Wilstermann, Blooming and Oriente Petrolero have said they will instead seek to sell their own rights.

Gróver Vargas, president of Wilstermann, was widely quoted as saying in the Bolivian press: “Entering a closed tender, where anything can happen, there you can be sure that Wilstermann will not enter.”

Blooming chairman Juan Jordán said: “Blooming will not enter the tender managed by the federation. I am not disrespecting anyone, but we decided to manage on our own our TV broadcast rights from 2021 onwards.”

The FBF’s general director, Freddy Téllez, last week said that the invitation to tender for the nation’s top tier of domestic football would continue, despite an offer having been tabled by the president of one of the clubs.

The 14 clubs that make up the Primera Divisíon have been considering a 10-year offer from Bolívar president Marcelo Claure worth a possible $100m (€88.7m), but failed to reach a consensus that would have ended the current tender.

As a result, Téllez said that any offer Claure wished to present would have to be submitted through the official channels and be tested against any competing offers. Claure’s offer would cover a 10-season period running between 2021 and 2030 which is more than double the four-year length that the FBF is currently advertising.

Dardo Gómez, vice-president of Bolívar, said that the statements from Blooming and Wilstermann represent “serious and responsible opinions of clubs that are looking after their future in Bolivian football”.

Aside from the four clubs, there is said to be another group, including Guabirá and Royal Pari, who back Claure’s proposal. The Primera Divisíon rights are currently held by the Sport TV Rights agency in a deal worth $4.1m and which expires at the end of this season.

The FBF has reclaimed control over the División Profesional rights from 2021 onwards. The rights reclamation stripped the league’s 14 clubs of negotiating their own broadcast rights in favour of placing the collective negotiating power with the FBF.