Spanish secretary of sport reveals collective rights legislation plan

New legislation is set to be introduced in Spain that will force football clubs to negotiate the sale of media rights on a collective basis, the country’s secretary of state for sport, Miguel Cardenal, told radio station Cope today (Thursday).

Cardenal said that the legislation – which is expected to be presented towards the end of this year but would not be activated immediately – would bring an end to the current model that allows clubs to negotiate rights deals with broadcasters and agencies on an individual basis.

“It is an extremely important issue because it’s the main source of funding [for the clubs],” Cardenal said. “The idea is that the new law will regulate the collective sale [of media rights] and that they will be sold in a single package.”

Cardenal said that it would be up to the clubs to decide how the money is distributed and added that “it would be natural to expect the gap between those who get the most and those who get the least to narrow.”

Spain’s two biggest clubs, Barcelona and Real Madrid, currently attract much larger media rights revenues than the other clubs.

Last week, Francisco Roca, the chief executive of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional, the Spanish football league, said that he hoped for a collective media rights model to be introduced within the next three years.

Roca said that 35 out of the 42 clubs across the top two divisions – La Liga and the Segunda División – had agreed to the plans for a more equitable distribution of media rights revenues.