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TVE won’t renew Champions League rights – report

Spanish public-service broadcaster TVE will not bid for the next cycle of media rights for football’s Uefa Champions League, according to daily newspaper El Mundo.

The report said that Uefa, football’s European governing body, is expected to announce the launch of the rights sales process in Spain for the three seasons from 2015-16 to 2017-18 in the coming days.

The Mediapro agency, commercial broadcaster Antena 3 and Catalan public-service broadcaster TV3 are expected to bid, but TVE has reportedly decided against bidding to renew its rights deal.

Earlier this month, TVE announced that it would take its sports channel Teledeporte off digital-terrestrial television as part of cost-cutting plans after receiving €130m ($176.8m) in funding from the Spanish government to cover a drop in annual revenue.

The report said that TVE’s current rights deal for the Champions League, from 2012-13 to 2014-15, costs €35m per year.

The deal was criticised by other broadcasters in Spain, but earlier this year the Audiencia Nacional, the Spanish High Court, ruled that the agreement was legal.