Mediaset contests LaLiga’s TVE rights deal

Spanish commercial broadcaster Mediaset has hit out at LaLiga’s decision to assign exclusive free-to-air highlights for the top division of Spanish football and the Copa del Rey to public-service broadcaster TVE.

LaLiga last week awarded the rights package for the 2015-16 season to TVE. The ‘Lot 3’ rights package was also contested by Mediaset and fellow commercial broadcaster Atresmedia, along with the Forta group of regional public-service broadcasters in Spain.

However, Mediaset has now lodged a formal complaint over the decision, citing TVE’s delicate financial situation and the fact it should not be allowed to use public money to acquire the rights.

“Giving exclusivity for LaLiga’s highlights to TVE limits the right to information for the other networks, which are only entitled to broadcast 90 seconds of LaLiga games,” Mediaset said in a statement. “Mediaset is opposed to the exclusivity of TVE, which has managed to present the highest bid but with public money.”

Spanish newspaper Diario AS said the complaint has been raised with the government and its sports council (CSD). It added that Mediaset is basing its complaint around the fact that TVE paid €12m ($13.2m) for the rights on the same day it announced losses of €96.1m, adding that operators did not pay more than €3m last season for the same rights on a non-exclusive basis.