Media Networks disputes Universitario rights deal claim

Media Networks Latin America, a division of telecommunications company Telefónica, has disputed claims by Peruvian football club Universitario de Deportes that a rights deal between the two parties has expired.

Media Networks operates pay-television broadcaster Movistar TV, which shows Universitario’s games on its Cable Mágico Deportes (CMD) pay-television sports channel.

“The television rights agreement between Media Networks and Universitario de Deportes is in full force and the club’s games will be broadcast by CMD,” Media Networks said, according to the Peru news website. “Media Networks has at no time expressed any willingness to terminate the contract with Universitario de Deportes. Where our rights are threatened, Media Networks will defend the validity… of the contract to all authorities.”

Universitario, which plays in the country’s top league, the Copa Movistar Torneo Descentralizado, said earlier this week that the rights deal had come to an end, allowing the club to negotiate a new agreement to start from 2013.

“The contract is resolved and we can negotiate with whoever provides the best proposal,” the club’s temporary administrator, Rocío Chávez, told Peruvian website La Republica on Monday.