Jaume Roures, the chief executive of Barcelona-based media rights and production agency Mediapro, has warned that cancelling the remainder of the 2019-20 LaLiga season could lead to upwards of €600m ($671m) in lost media rights fees and ticketing revenues.
LaLiga, the governing body of the top two divisions of Spanish football, has postponed at least the next two matchdays due to the coronavirus’ continued spread and with a further suspension expected to be likely.
The Spanish government has announced stringent methods for combating the virus, which includes a blanket ban on individuals leaving their homes apart from to buy essential supplies and medicines, and for work. A state of emergency was declared in Spain on March 13.
Speaking to regional radio station Catalunya Radio, Roures said: “It is difficult to assess the real extent of the damage caused. If the Spanish league were to stop, more than €600m would be lost.
“Right now, the damage that is taking place is difficult to assess.”
Sources close to LaLiga said that there is no definite figure to work to and that any figures mentioned are only estimates and projections rather than a cast-iron number.
Javier Tebas, the president of LaLiga, has taken a defiant stance and said that the body is doing its utmost to restart matches in any way possible.
Tebas was reported in Spanish media as having said: “We’re working on that other virus which is seeing what happens with our contracts around the world.
“We’re working to see if we can fit in some calendars in order to soften the economic blow that will arrive.”
Mediapro and telco Telefónica currently hold the domestic rights to LaLiga until the end of the 2021-22 season. Telefónica holds the bulk of the rights worth €2.94bn over the contract’s lifespan, while Mediapro is paying around €480m for its rights over the same period.