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Turner edges out Fox for Chilean football channel

US media group Turner has won the race to acquire Canal del Fútbol, the commercial and pay-television broadcaster on which the ANFP, Chilean football’s governing body, exploits rights to the top two tiers in the country.

The channel is 80-per-cent owned by the ANFP and 20-per-cent owned by businessman Jorge Claro through his channel operator Gestión de Television. In April, the ANFP reached an initial agreement to buy Claro’s stake and has until the end of the year to take up the option.

According to the Reuters news agency, the deal will guarantee Turner coverage of the top two divisions for 15 seasons.

The national body also reportedly suggested that it was keen to avoid possible regulatory complications that may have arisen if it had opted to select the other leading candidate in the tender, Fox.

Media conglomerate 21st Century Fox last week sealed a $52.4bn (€44.2bn) deal to sell a number of its assets to Walt Disney, which operates international sports broadcaster ESPN.

“Without a doubt, the negotiations between Disney and Fox were also an element that influenced (the decision),” ANFP spokesman Juan Tagle said.

The Canal del Fútbol deal is expected to be approved this week after Turner secured exclusivity in finalising the deal with the ANFP.