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Vodafone Spain turning away from premium sports

Vodafone España will not carry the BeIN Sports channel that offers Champions League football exclusively in Spain, according to local reports. The move will leave the operator as the only one of the country’s main national platforms not to carry the competition

The decision not to carry Mediapro’s BeIN Sports offering marks a significant shift for Vodafone, which has carried premium sports including La Liga alongside Champions League football for the past three years.

Vodafone España chief executive Antonio Coimbra told journalists at the Mobile World Congress in February that carrying premium football incurred costs that were not justified by the revenues gained from subscribers who signed up for football packages among their TV services. Vodafone can show one more season of Spanish domestic La Liga football before its current contract expires, and Coimbra has indicated the company will only continue to show the competition if the bill is reduced.

According to financial title El Español, Vodafone has also indicated that it will not broadcast motorsport channels Movistar Moto GP and Movistar F1 from the new season, despite the intervention of markets regulator the CNMC to force Telefónica to make the channels available to third-party providers.

According to El Español, Vodafone is focusing on offering streaming services including HBO and Netflix as part of its offering, and is keen to add Amazon Prime Video. Amazon reportedly held talks with Spanish operators in February about incorporating its service in their TV offerings.