RFEF secures €1.5m women’s football ‘broadcast development’ funds from Uefa

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has been given a €1.5m ($1.7m) investment in women’s football from European football’s governing body Uefa to invest in “broadcast development” of the federation’s new women’s football competition, the First Iberdrola.

Uefa’s investment is thought to be the first that RFEF has secured for broadcast rights to women’s football in Spain and is set against the backdrop of a dispute between the RFEF, on the one hand, and the Mediapro agency and Spanish women’s football association (ACFF), on the other.

The Barcelona-based agency, which is the rights-holder for 12 of the league’s 16 teams, and the ACFF have been left incensed by the RFEF’s attempts to centralise the media -rights sales for the 2019-20 season, a move  said to be interfering with agreed deals.

Mediapro agreed a deal that will see it pay €3m per season between 2019-20 and 2021-22 for the rights to the 12 teams, extending the relationship it has held since 2013. That deal was upheld in a Madrid court earlier after Mediapro and the ACFF sought legal clarification of their position.

The RFEF is understood to hold the media rights to the home matches of the remaining four clubs – FC Barcelona, Athletic Club, Sevilla FC and CD Tacón – while a dispute over the rights to Madrid CFF continues.

Under the RFEF’s plans for the First Iberdrola, the four clubs for which it holds rights — the so-called ‘Elite Program’ — will receive a minimum of €500,000 per year, while those competing in the second-tier Iberdrola Challenge will receive €100,000 per season.

Earlier this week, Mediapro and the ACFF threatened the RFEF with sanctions after the agency was blocked from broadcasting the First Iberdrola match between Madrid CFF and Real Betis Féminas on August 8. Mediapro and the ACFF argued that Madrid CFF had agreed a rights deal with the agency, while the RFEF claimed that was not the case.