Sogecable dives for soccer rights

Pay box grabs rights to 64 World Cup games

MADRID — Spain’s main pay TV operator, Sogecable, has sub-licensed Spanish pay TV World Cup soccer rights from terrestrial broadcaster La Sexta.

La Sexta announced Monday it had secured exclusive World Cup rights from the current rights holder Telefonica Contenidos.

Sogecable premium sports/movie multiplex Canal Plus, the main attraction of Sogecable’s DTH service Digital Plus, will transmit half the tournament’s 64 games live, and retransmit the other half, which La Sexta will put out live.

La Sexta’s games include all the matches involving Spain’s national team, plus the opening match and the final.

As with La Sexta, snagging World Cup rights is a strategic necessity for Sogecable.

While movies in Spain are viewed via a dizzying variety of platforms and windows, or simply pirated by peer-to-peer systems, Digital Plus remains Spain’s premier soccer TV service through its exclusive premium rights to one Spanish soccer league match a week, aired on Canal Plus.

Given that La Sexta is carried by Digital Plus, the service will effectively broadcast all World Cup matches live.

Sogecable sources declined to comment on the cost of the deal. But it eases the weight of the Euros95 million ($113.7 million), Euros 10 million ($11.4 million) of which is in advertising commitment, which La Sexta is paying for all exclusive World Cup rights.

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