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Spanish football war resumes as Mediapro seeks bankruptcy protection

Hostilities have once again broken out between Spanish pay-TV operator Sogecable and production company and broadcaster Mediapro.

The part of Mediapro that manages football rights is seeking protection from creditors, with the group accusing Sogecable of driving it into bankruptcy. According to Mediapro, Sogecable has failed to pay €90m owed for the football rights to the 2010-11 seasons.

Sogecable has in turn accused Mediapro of seeking bankruptcy in order to avoid paying Sogecable’s AVS sports rights subsidiary €105m owed to it. In March, a Madrid court ruled against Mediapro in the long-running dispute between it and Sogecable over who controlled the rights and ordered it to pay AVS €97m plus costs. The court found that Mediapro was in breach of undertakings it had made to AVS dating from 2006. According to Sogecable, Mediapro has chosen bankruptcy to avoid a June 9 deadline for making good the payment.

Last year it had appeared that the conflict between the two companies was drawing to a close, with the conclusion of an agreement to distribute the rights to show games between Sogecable’s Digital Plus and Mediapro’s free-to-air channel La Sexta and pay-TV channel Gol TV.

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