Catalan broadcaster Mediapro’s president Jaume Roures has reportedly told the Spanish competition regulator, the CNMC, that there is no implication of exclusivity in the deal it struck with Telefónica to provide its beIN Sports service to the telco.
Mediapro agreed a €2.4 billion deal with Telefónica in January giving the latter the right to air matches from the UEFA Champions League and Europa League tournaments for the current season and the 2016-18 seasons, raising concern among Telefónica’s competitors that they could be shut out of Spanish football, seen as a key selling point for their multi-play packages.
At the end of last week, Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao, addressing an analyst question about the Spanish market after the company’s third quarter results, said that the Mediapro-Telefónica deal could not be exclusive as the telco is obliged to resell premium content rights to third-party providers. He said Vodafone was challenging the formula under which the costs of rights were reallocated, but that his company did have the right to get the content.
Colao said that any attempt by Teledfónica to argue that, by doing a deal with Mediapro, it was not buying exclusive rights but the exclusive right to retransmit channels – i.e. beIN Sports – was “unlikely” to be successful.