Competition news

NEW CONFLICT IN LA LIGA: THE RADIOS

30 Aug 2011
La liga wants to charge all the radios in order to transmit the football matches at Primera and Segunda, but the companies refuse to accept. During the weekend they were forbidden to enter into all the stadiums.

Stormy start of season for La Liga; first it was the players’ strike that cancelled matchday 01 at Primera and Segunda División; now it’s a conflict with the radios and the broadcast rights of the matches. Contrary to what happens with television, for decades the radio companies were allowed to transmit the matches without any charge [only a small fee is paid to transmit matches from outside of Spain] and now, with the crisis hitting Spain, they want a piece of the cake.

Mediapro, the company that hold the TV and radio rights for the Primera and Segunda matches, calculates that the Spanish radio companies recollect €100 million per season thanks to football, and now la liga wants the 20% of the incomes; that’s why they have requested all the radios, private or public companies, to pay €20 million in order to transmit the matches.

One of the explanations gave by the LFP is that the money recollected would be used to cover the relegation assurance of the three clubs that each season suffer the traumatic transition between Primera and Segunda División. But the radios have their own problems, the last report is that the Spanish radios recollected €220.9 million in the first semester of 2011; it means a 35% decrease compared to 2007.

It is considered the major crisis lived by the radios in Spain, and now they have to deal with this new charge ordered by La Liga. That’s why they, through the Spanish Commercial Radio Association (AERC), are refusing to negotiate this new charge. The situation exploded on the weekend as La Liga sent an official statement to all the Primera and Segunda clubs asking them to block the entrance to the journalists of the radio companies. Now the radios are complaining that the LFP is violating their rights to inform the public.

All the Primera clubs, with the exception of Villarreal CF and Sevilla CF, didn’t allow the entrance of reporters. It also happened at Segunda and at the Riazor for the meeting with Recreativo. The big companies, Cadena SER, COPE, Onda Cero, Radio Nacional, Punto Radio and Radio Marca, plus the smallest ones, like Radio Voz, and the public systems, like Radio Galega, decided to transmit the matches through other ways, like watching the matches on TV at their studios or even infiltrating reporters between the general public.

It isn’t the first time that this happens, in 1994 the LFP tried to do the same, but they weren’t unable to succeed. But at least at the time the Radio companies agreed to invest money to improve the transmission booths. The position of Deportivo is to support the LFP, actually president Lendoiro was one of the first persons that introduced this idea in a liga meeting. For now there are no negotiations between both sides and the conflict will probably continue during next weekend.

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