Spanish TV outlets turn down FIFA 15-million offer for Confederations Cup

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Broadcasting rights for 2014 World Cup were not sold in Spain following losses recorded by Sogecable and Mediaset in previous events

Los jugadores de la selección española celebran su victoria en el Mundial de 2010 / Archivo

03 de enero de 2013 (12:28 CET)

The Spanish national side, current holder of the European Championship and World Cup, is not profitable for TV outlets in their country. Not a single channel is to bid and pay the 15-million euros amount that FIFA is asking for the Confederations Cup broadcasting rights that is to take place in Brasil from 15th to 30th of June 2013. Nor have been sold in this country TV rights for the 2014 World Cup, that is also to be held in the South American country next year. 

And so, football has lost center stage and is no longer a thriving business for televisions in Spain. A remarkable impact on audience does not make up for the rising costs due to a current crisis in the advertising industry and TVE, Telecinco, Antena 3 have forwarded offers that not meet the 15-million threshold that FIFA has set. The international football agency has paradoxically sold TV rights for the Confederations Cup in any of its four modes -Tv, radio, Internet and mobile phone- across 189 countries. Spain is not listed among them.

Loss-making investments

Precedents for similar operations explain the reservations being shown by Spanish channels. South Africa's World Cup in 2010 involved a 90-million expenditure by Sogecable -paid 70 million to FIFA and outlaid 20 more million on covering the event- and Mediaset -Telecinco-, which paid up to 60 million euros to purchase Tv rights for the European Championship held in Poland and Ukraine. Advertising returns arisen out of this international event covered for a mere 50 percent of the initial investment, according to Telecinco.

On 12th of October last year, a football match between Belarus and Spain framed on the qualifying group stages, was not broadcasted by any Spanish outlet. The German TV producer Sportfive, holding the rights, requested three million euros, initial amount that was finally scaled down to 800,000 euros. TVE, Telecinco and Antena 3 refused to go a notch over 500,000 euros and, for the first time since 1983 -when Malta faced Spain- a football match featuring Spain's national team was not broadcasted in the country. In turn, radios stepped short of paying 25,000 euros demanded by Sportfive and narrated the game from a hotel in Minsk.

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