Primera Liga duo open to TV revenue change, claims sports minister

Spanish Liga teams Real Madrid and Barcelona may be open to agreeing a more equal distribution of income from broadcast rights fees, according to the country’s sports minister, José Ignacio Wert.

Wert, speaking to Spanish sports newspaper AS, said: “I believe that Madrid and Barcelona are receptive and are ready to be more flexible in the sharing out of rights (income).”

Wert also warned clubs of the danger of over-relying on broadcast rights income, adding that “the situation for football will be difficult” if media companies are unwilling or unable to pay the current rates for rights.

Spanish clubs are currently allowed to sell their media rights individually, but the revenue-generating power of La Liga’s traditional big two has been cited as one of the reasons for a lack of competiveness in the league.

Research published in April by José Maria Gay, a professor of accounting at the University of Barcelona, revealed that FC Barcelona secured €163 million ($209 million) and Real €156 million in broadcast rights income in the 2010-11 season, with the next club on the list, Valencia, only earning €42 million.

Sevilla last year fronted a campaign to persuade Barcelona and Real to share television revenues more equally, and while the two teams have brokered an agreement with 11 other La Liga sides to share some of the revenues from 2015, many believe this is likely to have little effect on the competitive gulf that exists in Spanish football.