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Mediapro in talks over new Barcelona deal

Mediapro is in talks with Spanish Liga football club Barcelona over a new media-rights deal, according to the agency’s president, Jaume Roures.

“We are negotiating a contract with Barcelona to begin in 2016,” Roures said, according to Spanish sports newspaper Mundo Deportivo.

Mediapro currently has rights to Barcelona and Real Madrid games, with each deal worth €135m ($172m) per season.

Roures’ announcement has come after the Bloomberg news agency said last week that Barcelona had agreed to receive no more than four times as much in media-rights income as the lowest-paid team in the Liga from the 2016-17 season as part of a new centralised model for the top division of football in the country.

The Liga has been trying to broker an arrangement under which Barcelona and Real Madrid would agree to become part of a collective rights model, ending the current individual sales approach.

Both clubs currently receive about 6.5 times the value of the rights income generated by the Liga’s lowest-earning club.

Commenting on wider issues surrounding Spanish football rights, Roures said that Mediapro’s investment in rights had a negligible financial benefit for the agency, but added La Liga represents “premium content”.

“The exploitation of football is currently in deficit,” he said. “The Spanish Liga does not give us benefits and globally traders lose money. We keep buying because it is premium content you need to have. We are sure one day the situation will improve and the management will combat piracy.”

Roures also said that Liga match scheduling will not change as the league and clubs are “thrilled” with the current set-up.