Spain agrees new La Liga TV rights deal that will end Real Madrid-Barcelona hegemony

New legislation has been passed that will bring Spanish soccer in line with how the Premier League and Serie A are marketed, and will correct existing imbalances in earnings, which allow Real Madrid and Barcelona to claim a disproportionate amount of the television income in La Liga.

The legislation will take effect in 2016 and replace the current arrangement that allows individual clubs to negotiate their own television contracts.

Previously, Real Madrid and Barcelona were able to reach lucrative TV deals that enabled them to consistently outbid rival clubs for players.

Now, there will now be an auction for television broadcasting rights, with La Liga standing to make billions of dollars that will be distributed fairly among Spanish clubs.

Of that money, 93 percent will go directly to the clubs in both of the top two divisions in Spain, while 3.5 percent of the funds will be reserved as insurance for the teams who are relegated. The remaining monies will be split up between the league, Social Security contributions, the Spanish Footballers’ Association, other federation syndicates and women’s football.

La Liga president Javier Tebas was euphoric over the agreement. The league official defined the new law as a “historic step” that will allow Spanish football to be “more competitive”.

“A new La Liga is born, which will not stop moving towards equaling and bettering our competitors,” Tebas said.

“This is a new chapter in the history of professional Spanish football. This decision taken by the Spanish government is a historic step forward for Spanish football that will allow us to be more competitive both nationally and internationally.”

The sports ministry spokesman Miguel Cardenal, who heads Spain’s sports council, said new legislation allows Spanish football to “adapt to modern times”.

“You just have to see that last year the club that came last in the Premier League earned more than Atletico Madrid (the La Liga champions),” Cardenal said.

Even though many clubs have contracts to honor with broadcasters for the 2015-16 season, the unified auctions of television rights could go ahead for next season.

 

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