La Sexta scores soccer rights

Local reports estimate price at $196+ mil

MADRID — New Spanish broadcaster La Sexta has snagged free-to-air rights to Spanish league soccer for the next three seasons.

It will air 38 First Division league games per season. Catalan pubcaster TVC has bought rights to simulcast the same game for Catalonia.

Price has not been announced, but local reports have alluded to a fee as high as e150 million ($192.6 million).

Production house and service company Mediapro, a lead shareholder in La Sexta, announced in June that it had inked all TV rights to Barcelona league soccer from 2006-13 for north of $1.25 billion.

Mediapro pacted late July to share Spanish soccer league rights with their current shareholders, pay TV operator Sogecable and TVC. With Mediapro co-adjudicating the rights, their concession to La Sexta is a no-brainer.

New station, which bought all 2006 World Cup soccer games, needs Spanish league soccer to continue luring viewers into adjusting set reception to view La Sexta.

“For a channel which is still developing, having league soccer rights is a question of marketing and brand strengthening, which introduces other considerations beyond strict recoupment of investment,” said La Sexta CEO Jose Miguel Contreras.

Beyond live sports events, La Sexta programming notches up 1%-2% market share.

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