Superliga revises international rights tender, extends deadline

The Argentinian Superliga, the top tier of club football in Argentina, has further extended and revised the tender process for its international broadcast rights.

The announcement of a further 60-day extension came after a Superliga meeting yesterday (Wednesday) at which the growing unease from interested parties in the process was addressed.

Mediapro, the production and media rights agency, recently joined the growing number of broadcasters and agencies in calling for the Superliga to reissue its international rights tender. The governing body for the top-tier of Argentinian football had already been criticised by ESPN, the US-headquartered sports broadcaster, for issuing a tender which critics have said gives too little time to submit a comprehensive offer and contains “many questionable aspects”.

The Superliga recently kicked off the invitation to tender with bidders given a deadline of January 20 to submit their offers. The deadline was then extended with a consultation deadline set for January 28 with bids expected by February 3. The league was thought to be looking for offers of around $15m (€13.6m) per season for the international rights.

At yesterday’s meeting, Argentinian newspaper La Nación said media group Tele Red Imagen had joined the list of aggrieved parties, with Argentinos Juniors president, Cristian Malaspina, stating the tender document has been modified “so that all companies can participate”.

A Superliga source added to the newspaper: “We postpone it (the tender) so that all those who criticise the deadlines of the process can be presented. We are doing something even more transparent.”

La Nación said the Superliga is now seeking a joint venture partner for the rights, stating the title of the tender document now reads: “Project for the implementation of a transformational model of integral commercialisation of the rights of the Superliga. Creation and management of an independent marketing scheme”.

Torneos, the Argentinian rights agency, is the long-standing international rights-holder of the Superliga. Its current agreement is worth around $6m per season.