Mediaset drops Copa del Rey in dispute with Mediapro
Mediaset España, the Spanish commercial broadcaster, has declared at the 11th hour that it will not after all be televising live matches from the early rounds of soccer’s Copa del Rey, the country’s knockout clubs competition, accusing rights-holder Mediapro of breaching conditions.
In November, an agreement was reached under which Mediaset would show eight matches from the 2017-18 tournament, comprising two from the round of 16, two from the quarter-finals and all four legs of the semi-finals, on free-to-air networks Telecinco or Cuatro, simulcast with Gol, Mediapro’s free-to-air digital terrestrial sports channel.
Coverage was set to begin on Thursday with the first leg of the round-of-16 tie between second-tier Numancia and LaLiga giants Real Madrid.
However, Mediaset revealed yesterday evening that it would no longer be showing games as “the agreed conditions are not being met” by Mediapro, with the result that, as things stand, they will only be broadcast on Gol.
Further details have not been forthcoming although it is thought that the dispute could be linked to a disagreement over the terms of last September’s deal under which Publiespaña, a subsidiary of Mediaset, replaced Pulsa as the marketing agency for Gol advertising spots.
It is reported that the deal could have included a minimum billing guarantee.
Mediapro has yet to comment on the issue.
Gol holds the free-to-air live rights and internet rights to selected matches from the top two Spanish leagues and the Copa del Rey in a three-year deal worth a total of €75.8 million ($91.1 million) that runs until the end of the 2018-19 season.
The contract does not include the final of the cup competition, which was shown last season by Telecinco and attracted 6 million viewers as Barcelona beat Alavés 3-1.