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La Liga wins Real Madrid court battle over TV rights management

Spanish champions were seeking a €23.9m payment from the league.

7 May 2021 Sam Carp
  • Court rules in favour of La Liga’s centralised rights management, dismissing all claims made by Real Madrid
  • Spanish soccer body says ruling ‘is of great importance’ and highlights ‘the unequivocal role’ of La Liga in commercialising audiovisual rights

Real Madrid have lost a legal battle with La Liga after challenging the Spanish soccer body’s authority to commercialise the league’s broadcast rights.

A Madrid court dismissed the reigning Spanish champions’ legal claim, ruling in favour of La Liga’s centralised rights management and its responsibility to increase the value of the competition domestically and abroad.

Real Madrid asked the court to force La Liga to provide more thorough financial accounts for the 2018/19 season, including details on the sale of the league’s broadcast rights. In addition, the club wanted the court to reverse certain agreements approved at La Liga’s general assembly in October 2019, while it also claimed it was due a payment of €23.9 million (US$28.9 million) from the league.

The court ruling dismissed all those claims, which La Liga said ‘revalidates La Liga’s powers to continue working and making use of the main tools that have allowed it to compete on equal terms in the market’.

La Liga currently shares its broadcast revenue in accordance with Spain’s Royal Decree Law of 2015, which saw the league stop selling media rights on an individual basis and return to the collective selling of those rights.

In a statement, La Liga added that the ruling ‘is of great importance’ given that the main legal reasons for dismissing the case ‘highlight the unequivocal role that La Liga has in the commercial management of audiovisual rights and the obligation that this entails to guarantee optimal management and investment’.

The ruling compounds a dismal few weeks for Real Madrid, who have seen their plans to join a breakaway European Super League (ESL) scuppered by a wave of opposition across the sport. Los Blancos were also knocked out of the Uefa Champions League by Chelsea earlier this week.

In other La Liga news, the league has extended its Italian broadcast deal with DAZN for another three seasons. Spanish soccer’s top flight has been available on the sports streaming subscription service since its debut in Italy in 2018, with the exclusive agreement now set to continue until the end of the 2023/24 campaign.


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