Court orders new bidding process for Ecuadorian league rights
The FEF, the Ecuadorian soccer federation, has been directed by a provincial court to conduct a new bidding process for the broadcasting rights to the country’s top-tier Serie A.
The federation had appealed against a previous ruling from a judge in Guayaquil revoking a 10-year, $276-million deal with GolTV, the Latin American cable and satellite broadcaster.
However, on Tuesday, the Provincial Court of Guayas upheld the ruling of judge Jean Valverde, and gave the FEF 72 hours to launch a new tender.
The court said: “The entire convocation process, presentation of proposals, opening envelopes, the public declaration of the winner and the signing of the contract must conclude within a maximum period of 15 days from the notification of this ruling.”
The FEF has yet to comment on the new ruling. If it chooses to, the federation can still challenge the judgement in Ecuador’s Constitutional Court.
Earlier this week, the FEF published a letter from Conmebol, asserting the national governing body’s independence to make decisions without external interference, as it sought to defend the contract with GolTV, which is owned by renowned Uruguayan player agent Paco Casal.
It has also cited the backing of Fifa for its stance.
In the wake of Valverde’s intervention, the FEF did invite other bids for the Serie A rights only to announce subsequently that there had been no acceptable offers, and that the deal with GolTV would be respected.
The contract with Casal's company was agreed last June, but has been subject to criticism and legal challenges, notably from Abdalá Bucaram Pulley, a politician and former soccer player, because of an alleged lack of transparency and good business practice.
The suspension of the GolTV deal has forced the FEF to take contingency measures for TV coverage of the top division at the start of the 2018 season, with games shown by cable groups CNT and Asocope and on free-to-air channels including Teleamazonas and TVC.
Earlier this month, satellite broadcaster DirecTV claimed to have submitted an offer, on behalf of itself and fellow operators TV Cable and Univisa, that would have been worth $432 million over 10 years, but this was deemed inadmissible by the FEF.Sportcal