Mediapro to buy Champions League rights worth $1.12 billion

Champions League

The Mediapro agency has won the exclusive rights to air the Uefa Champions League in Spain on its BeIN Sports-branded channels, according to several reports.

According to Spanish daily El Espanol reports, Mediapro has beaten out bids from Mediaset, TVE, Atresmedia and TV3 to secure a three-year contract beginning in 2018, though the deal is yet to be officially confirmed.

Mediapro is understood to have offered around €1 billion (US$1.12 billion) for the package, roughly 30 per cent more than it paid for its current three-year deal signed in 2014.

If confirmed, the new deal increases the likelihood that the Champions League, European soccer’s elite club competition, will no longer be shown on free-to-air TV in Spain.

Under Uefa’s current agreement in the country, commercial broadcaster Atresmedia and Catalan public network TV3 hold free-to-air rights.

It is possible, however, that Mediapro could look to sub-license certain rights to other broadcasters, including Telefonica’s Movistar, Vodafone or Orange – although the two latter companies previously refused to enter the bidding for the Champions League rights this time round citing escalating costs, according to El Pais.

Uefa launched its tender process for the coming three-year cycle in Spain last month. Bids for the Spanish rights to the Europa League, Uefa’s secondary club competition, are also currently being considered.