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Spanish future UEFA TV rights, will NOT be with Orange or Vodafone

Neither Orange nor Vodafone can see a profit in managing UEFA broadcasting rights in Spain, so they won’t be bidding for the next three seasons.

According to the telcos’ representatives, speaking to the Spanish daily El País, UEFA intends to charge 30% more for the 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21 Champions League and Europe League seasons, compared to the lot of TV rights. Both telcos claim that the increase in prices are driving operators to pay vast sums that compromise their financial stability. In fact, Telefónica was reported to have spent nearly €2.5 billion last year for football rights in Spain. The main problem for the Spanish telcos is that in a very competitive market, the end-user price for football packages needs to be low. According to sources quoted by El País, subscribers would have to pay up to €50 per month just to watch live football, while current monthly prices vary between €10 and €20. This latest development doesn’t mean that Vodafone and Orange won’t offer the Champions League or the Europe League as they may still reach agreements with whoever buys the UEFA TV rights. UEFA’s increased prices have already been met by operators in other countries. In the UK, BT recently renewed the rights for over €450 million per season (£394 million), over 30% more than three years ago.

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