Mediaset to cover World Cup qualifiers after Fiba assurances

Spanish commercial broadcaster Mediaset has committed to televise the national basketball team’s opening two qualifying games for the 2019 World Cup after stating it has received the necessary assurances from the International Basketball Federation (Fiba) over the current dispute in the sport.

Mediaset last week said it would not broadcast the 2019 World Cup campaign, despite holding rights, amid concern surrounding the ongoing dispute between Fiba and Euroleague Basketball. The long-running battle between the two organisations concerns the sport’s calendar in Europe and the release of players for national team competitions.

Mediaset said that as the Spanish national team could not count on key players as a consequence of the commitments they have with their respective clubs, Spain’s qualification for the World Cup in China was at risk. It also added that the dispute devalued ​​the competitive nature of the qualifying matches.

However, Mediaset and Fiba yesterday (Wednesday) said Spain’s opening two qualifiers against Montenegro in Podgorica tomorrow (Friday) and the home clash against Slovenia in Burgos on Sunday will be televised live and free-to-air via the broadcaster’s Be Mad channel.

The games will also be live streamed through the Mitele.es platform. Mediaset said in a statement that following talks in recent days, Fiba has “committed to solve the problem of summoning players for the next days of international basketball games”.

Mediaset acquired rights to national team events organised by Fiba under a five-year deal running from 2017 to 2021 which was struck in May.