Real Madrid added to Mediapro competition investigation
24 Jul 2012
Real Madrid has found itself embroiled in a dispute between the Mediapro agency and Spain’s antitrust authority (CNC) over the company’s broadcast rights agreements with certain football clubs.
The latest development comes after the CNC in May began legal proceedings against Mediapro and three clubs regarding their broadcast deals. The antitrust authority had earlier begun an investigation into deals between the agency and FC Barcelona, Sevilla and Racing Santander, concerning “non-compliance” with a CNC council resolution drafted in April 2010.
The resolution outlines that the acquisition of broadcast rights to clubs’ league and cup games, with the exception of the Copa del Rey final, for more than three seasons infringed Spanish and European competition regulation by failing to ensure the rights were “released onto the market with the regularity necessary to ensure effective competition.” The CNC said that the four parties had failed to comply with the regulation and has now extended its claim to include Real Madrid, based on a broadcast deal the club signed with Mediapro in November 2010.
Mediapro has previously said that the CNC’s resolution was “blatantly incompatible” with the provisions of Spain’s General Broadcasting Law, which “clearly and unequivocally permits the signing of contracts for the acquisition of broadcasting rights for a period of up to four seasons and guarantees the operation of all contracts signed by Mediapro until such time as their expiry.” It has consistently maintained that its contracts with its partner clubs are valid.