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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Spanish TV Broadcasters settle La Liga spat, but no freeview for Madrid, Barca

The spat between Spanish broadcasters that threatened the start of the La Liga football season has been resolved, with the result that no matches featuring Real Madrid or Barcelona FC will be shown on free-to-air broadcast.

The season coverage will begin as scheduled this Sunday. Real Madrid is hosting Valencia and Barcelona faces Real Sociedad at home.

Canal+ and Mediapro have agreed to a three-year deal to share the television rights, with Canal+ showing 28 matches involving either Madrid or Barcelona, and Mediapro's pay-per-view channel airing a match featuring one of the two teams each weekend. Mediapro also nabbed the rights to one of the Clasico matchups betwee the two teams.

Mediapro will offer one match on their freeview channel each week, and retains the international TV rights for La Liga.

"The agreement...establishes a viable model for the Spanish league and presents a stable scenario for football fans [through 2015]," Mediapro said in a statement.

Carlos Martinez, director at Canal+, said that public broadcasters couldn't see their way clear to paying a premium for the sports content. "Free view TV was the first choice, but they lost out because the operators believed that the valuation was an exorbitant amount," he told reporters.

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