La Liga Threaten to Postpone Matches Over TV Rights Row

February 15, 2011

La Liga 1 and 2, Spain’s elite soccer leagues, are threatening to go on strike, postponing all matches played of the weekend of April 2 and 3, unless a controversial TV soccer regulation, established since 1997, is scrapped by the government.

For the last 14 years the so-called Ley del Futbol has enforced the open transmission on free-to-air TV of one match per weekend. However, Spanish clubs believe that abolishing these rules would entitle them to claim extra revenue of between US$203m and $270.5m per year, and are set for a new round of TV rights talks.

The clubs are offering to divert 15 per cent of all TV income as a bargaining gesture, to help pay off massive social security and tax debts. It is estimated that the clubs of the top two divisions are around $880m in debt and that a significant sector of that is owed to the tax and revenue authorities.