TVE back in the frame for domestic basketball rights, report says

Spanish public-service broadcaster TVE is keen to retain rights for the country’s top-tier basketball league, the ACB, when its current four-year deal, from 2008-09 to 2011-12, expires in June, according to Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo.

The report said that TVE had offered to show more ACB games live on its main free-to-air channel, TVE1, in the proposed new deal, in an effort to stave off a joint bid from commercial broadcasters Antena 3 and La Sexta, which agreed to merge earlier this year.

TVE’s reported interest in the rights would represent a u-turn on TVE acting president Josep Manel Silva’s claim in March that the broadcaster could not afford to renew them.

The broadcaster is under pressure to reduce spending on sports rights due to cutbacks in its government subsidy.

Last week TVE agreed an exclusive rights deal with the Federación Española de Baloncesto, the Spanish basketball federation, beginning this year and running into 2014. The agreement covered rights for live coverage of men’s and women’s national team games as well as matches from the men’s second-tier league, the women’s league, and men’s and women’s cup competitions.