Real Sociedad-Prisa deal heats up Mediapro rights dispute

The Spanish Mediapro agency said it would sue Real Sociedad after the Spanish Liga club agreed a rights deal worth €50.1 million ($66.8 million) over two seasons, 2013-14 and 2014-15, with pay-television operator Prisa.

Mediapro owns all the media rights for the clubs in Spain’s top two divisions until the end of the 2011-12 season. According to news website Mundo Deportivo, one of the agency’s arguments is that its rights deal with Real was effectively suspended during the club’s three seasons in the second tier Segunda División, from 2007-08 to 2009-10, meaning it should still hold the club’s rights for another three seasons, until 2015.

Real Sociedad has also filed its own lawsuit against Mediapro for allegedly underpaying on rights fee instalments from July 2010 to January 2012. The club said it had filed the lawsuit against Mediapro in January and had not received due payments for February or March of this year. Real Sociedad’s president Jokin Aperribay said that Mediapro now owes the club €7.3 million in unpaid rights fees, including €3.5 million from the July 2010 to January 2012 period. The club claims that a further €3.8 million is owed in unpaid fees for February and March of this year.

According to Spanish sports newspaper El Mundo Deportivo, Mediapro said that the lower rights fee payments were justified by Real Sociedad’s three seasons in the Segunda División.