Liga MX club Chivas will no longer be televised on Univision after the summer of 2019 when the current TV deal ends, according to a source that’s close to the deal.
The news came as a surprise to CD Guadalajara. According to Chivas vice-president Amaury Vergara Zatarian, “I cannot officially say we won’t be renewing the contract with Univision or otherwise because the club has not received an official statement from the broadcaster regarding their interest to continue or cease this partnership. We currently have a great partnership with [Univision] and will continue to do so as long [as] possible if it is [of] mutual interest.”
However, World Soccer Talk understands that Chivas will be dropped from the Spanish-language network for the second half of 2019 onwards.
Broadcasters in the United States buy the TV rights to Liga MX teams on a club-by-club basis, and Chivas has enjoyed a long business relationship with Univision, beaming the club’s games to viewers across the United States. Despite currently sitting in fifteenth position in Liga MX, Chivas continues to be a marquee club in Mexican soccer and often enjoys sizable viewing numbers. Both Chivas and rival Club America are tied on 12 for the number of Liga MX titles the clubs have won.
The reason for the Chivas contract not being renewed by Univision is unclear. It’s possible that Chivas may be playing hardball and sizing up the prospect of potentially working with Telemundo given that NBC Sports, its sister company, is currently powering the Chivas TV streaming network. Or Chivas may be considering expanding its Chivas TV service in the United States to stream live games directly to consumers instead of just live audio.
Whatever the reason, Univision Deportes still has a strong arsenal of soccer TV rights in the United States. In addition to continuing the broadcast Liga MX games (including the Superclásico after the summer of 2019), Univision has the Spanish-language rights to the UEFA Champions League (beginning in summer 2018), Bundesliga, CONCACAF Champions League, CONCACAF Gold Cup, Euro 2020, Nations League, MLS, and select games featuring the Mexico national team, US Men’s National Team and US Women’s National Team.
For Chivas, just like the popular telenovelas on Latino television, expect plenty more twists and turns before a decision is reached where fans can watch them from summer 2019 onwards.