Romanian watchdog launches probe into league’s Intel rights deal

The Romanian competition authority has launched an investigation into the sale of media rights for the country’s Liga 1 domestic top-tier football tournament.

The Mediafax news agency said that the regulator would investigate the sale of the rights to start-up media company Intel Sky Broadcasting after receiving a complaint from cable-television operator RCS-RDS.

Intel was awarded the rights for five years, from 2014-15 to 2018-19.  There was no tender for the rights.

The regulator added that it had already conducted an investigation into the previous cycle of rights awarded by the league, the Liga Profesionistă de Fotbal. Commercial broadcaster Antena, RCS-RDS and fellow cable-television operator Romtelecom were the rights-holders for the three seasons from 2011-12 to 2013-14.

The watchdog said that it would be interested in obtaining information from third parties such as competitors and customers.

RCS-RDS submitted the complaint against the league on May 29. The company argued that the deal violated competition law.

In other news, pay-television operator UPC (Focus Sat) and IPTV platform iNES have signed agreements with Intel to carry league matches shown on the Look TV and Look Plus pay-television channels, according to the Broadcast TV News website.