La Liga agrees three-year 2.65 billion euro TV rights deal

Madrid (AFP) - The Spanish league announced on Wednesday that it has agreed a domestic television deal worth a minimum 2.65 billion euros ($2.8 billion, £1.86 billion) for the next three seasons.

A subsidiary of telecommunications giant Telefonica, Movistar, will have first choice of one match from each round of fixtures for 250 million euros a season.

Meanwhile, multimedia communications group Mediapro have the rights to eight other La Liga games each weekend for 633 million euros a season.

Moreover, the deal is set to rise with eight other available packages including Copa del Rey games, highlights and one La Liga match per round of fixtures to be shown on free-to-air television still to be agreed.

The figures are well short of the £5.1 billion three-deal agreed by the Premier League for domestic TV rights in February.

However, it represents a significant increase in La Liga's income as it seeks to close the gap on the financially dominant Premier League thanks in part to a law introduced in April which forces the clubs to bargain such deals collectively.

Including international rights deals struck in the summer, La Liga's overall television revenue has risen from 800 million euros a season under the old system to nearly 1.5 billion euros a season.

Previously, Spanish clubs negotiated their TV deals individually, which allowed giants Barcelona and Real Madrid to snap up almost 50 percent of the overall pot.

The new system sees 10 percent of the revenue raised going to Second Division clubs.

Of the remaining 90 percent, half is split equally amongst all 20 clubs in the top flight. Another quarter is allocated based on league results for the previous five seasons, whilst the final quarter is awarded on a variety of criteria such as number of club members and attendances.

The increased revenue means Barca and Madrid will not lose money despite the more egalitarian system and league president Javier Tebas has insisted it is key that La Liga doesn't lose its selling point of having the best players in the world play for Spain's two biggest clubs.

"I think we have known and the government have accepted it wouldn't be so equally split as in the English or German league. We need to grow without cutting out Real Madrid and Barcelona," Tebas told AFP in an exclusive interview recently.

"The better they go and the more stars they have, the better the domestic and international rights will go,"

"It is not the Premier League because we have far to go in working on our brand, but we are at a much superior level than the Italian, German or French leagues and within a billion of the Premier League."