The Mexican Football Federation (Femexfut) has confirmed the extension of its rights deal with pay-television operator Televisa and commercial broadcaster TV Azteca.
Confirmation of the agreement comes in the wake of a week of reports concerning the implications of a so-called automatic renewal clause for national team football games in the contract between the three parties.
The new contract will take in the period spanning 2018 to 2026, equating the cycles for the 2018 and 2026 Fifa World Cups. US media company NBCUniversal and Latin American telecommunications group América Móvil last week presented a joint offer for the rights to Mexican national team football.
The offer from NBCU’s Spanish-language broadcaster Telemundo and América Móvil consisted of television rights in the US and digital rights only in Mexico and the rest of the world. The Proceso.com.mx website said this offer was worth $220m (€184.6m) compared to the $200m put forward by Televisa and TV Azteca for television and digital rights domestically and on a global basis.
Femexfut marketing committee member and president of Liga MX club Santos Laguna, Alejandro Irarragorri, confirmed the renewal of the Televisa and TV Azteca agreements at a press conference on Friday, adding that an automatic renewal clause that had been in place since 2006 will be removed for rights negotiations from 2026 onwards.
Irarragorri added: “During the last few months an extraordinary committee was formed, consisting of four members: Monterrey, Xoloitzcuintles, Pumas and Santos… to carry out the investigation and negotiation of the transmission rights of the national team of Mexico, for the future.
“During this time there were many hours devoted to understanding the past and understanding where we are in the present, what the real situation is, and where we should go in the future. Much has been speculated and spoken with a reality parallel to the possibilities we had of opening it to a public tender.
“However, I want to be very clear that one of the relevant findings of the committee is that the pre-signed agreement generated the holders of the rights an automatic renewal clause, which was below expectations as a group we had for that future contract.
“We have talked with both television stations that have them (the rights), we have made them aware, they have given their support and have yielded to a clause that belonged to them to negotiate a new reality for the future.”