Spanish football rights to return to Sogecable following legal ruling

Spanish pay-TV provider Sogecable has claimed a legal victory over rival Mediapro. A Madrid court has ordered the Catalan production and broadcasting group to return the rights to show Spanish league football games to Sogecable majority-owned football rights arm AVS and to pay €105m to the Prisa-owned pay-TV operator.

The court also ordered Mediapro to pay an additional €31m in costs and legal fees and ordered the freezing of bank accounts and Mediapro’s shares in companies including its pay-TV channel Gol TV and GAMP, the company that controls free-to-air broadcaster La Sexta. Sogecable secured the latest ruling ahead of a Barcelona court accepting the bankruptcy filing of Mediapro’s production arm Mediaproducción, which currently holds the rights to the football matches.

The ruling means that Mediapro will not be able to count its rights deals with various clubs amongst its assets in its bankruptcy filing. Mediapro has rights agreements with clubs including Valencia, Levante, Villareal and Barcelona that have long been contested by Sogecable on the grounds that they broke the terms of an agreement signed between Mediapro and AVS (in which Mediapro has a minority 20% stake) in 2006.

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