Movistar Plus, the Spanish pay-television operator owned by telecoms giant Telefonica, has secured domestic rights to Spanish soccer’s Copa del Rey and Super Cup competitions after striking a deal with the RFEF, the Spanish soccer federation, for the next three years.
The deal covers the 2022-23 to 2024-25 editions of both competitions, with Movistar Plus securing rights to at least 55 Copa del Rey matches per season, including exclusive rights to 45 matches.
The deal also sees the pay-television operator retain rights to all four matches of the Super Cup, the four-team knockout competition contested by the winners and runners-up of the Copa del Rey and top-flight LaLiga, for the same period.
The Copa del Rey package secured by Movistar Plus, Lot 1C, had a reserve price of €8 million ($7.81 million) per season, while the Super Cup carried a reserve price of €6.2 million per season for the only package available.
Movistar Plus’ deal for Copa del Rey rights follows an earlier deal which saw Spanish public broadcaster RTVE acquire the free-to-air rights package, Lot 1B, to air 15 matches each season, including the semi-finals and the final.
RTVE has shown the cup final in Spain on several occasions over the past decade, most recently in 2019.
Copa del Rey rights were previously held in Spain by commercial broadcaster Mediaset Espana under a three-year deal worth just under €14 million annually that expired at the end of last season.
After securing the main rights package in 2019, Mediaset opted to sublicense them to DAZN, the subscription streaming platform.
The RFEF raised around €80 million from domestic and international sales in the previous cycle.
In announcing the new deal yesterday (November 2) the RFEF reiterated its claim that the value of the Copa del Rey rights has “skyrocketed” in all markets for the new three-year cycle and could secure more than €120 million – triple the amount received in 2018 when the sale of the Copa del Rey rights was managed by LaLiga.
The governing body said it received €15 million per season when rights were sold by the league whereas the average over the next three seasons could exceed €40 million with sales in all markets.
The RFEF launched a new and modified three-season tender in July after a recommendation from the CNMC, the Spanish competition regulator, to amend the maximum length of contracts on offer and eliminate the option of offering deals for four or five seasons.
As well as reducing the number of seasons on offer, the RFEF split up the rights into different lots to attract several broadcasters and give the competition exposure on free-to-air and/or pay-television channels.
The organization had initially issued the tender in April and was seeking a minimum of €22 million per year for a contract of up to four seasons but no offers had been placed matching that asking price.
In recent months, Copa del Rey rights have been sold to L’Equipe in France and ESPN in the US.
Tenders are currently out in international regions including the Americas, Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East and North Africa, with rights on offer for up to five seasons.
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