As we’ve been blogging here all week, the legal spat between Mediapro and Sogecable broadcast rights has begun to heat up even further and threatens the rest of the season. 58 million euros is said to already be owed by Mediapro to Sogecable for last year’s matches and now a further claim of 200 million is being disputed because of a breach of contract during last week’s matches where 3 games were “pirated” to free-over-air television by Mediapro on their channel La Sexta, to which Sogecable is stating that they did not have the rights to air(1). Mediapro countered that they are owed 48 million euros by Sogecable, that a contract signed between the two parties in October of 2006 is invalid, and they intend on filing a countersuit next week.
It looks grave for Spanish football and we’re all worried that more games will be lost this coming week, but it looks like the Spanish Football Federation has a lot to lose as well (as is being ed here (2), has ruled in favor of Mediapro, will allow them access to grounds despite Sogecable’s protests, and they have “rearranged the (league) schedule” on Saturday to accommodate the broadcasts. Nice, huh?
I don’t know how this will translate in us being able to watch La Liga matches in the United States, but it looks like those in Spain, Real Madrid and Barcelona especially, will be broadcast over the air just maybe not necessarily in their usual times.
In the end, I think that CNN is right in this article, that this will all go away soon, an agreement will be settled on, Sogecable will get more of the pie like most of the financial websites are reporting, and Mediapro will get a hefty buyout or a better contract. As usual though, we as fans will pay dearly.