The Government of Argentina has agreed to end the contract with “Futbol para Todos” program – in charge of televising Argentine professional soccer tournaments – but said that it will continue broadcasting the matches free of charge until 2019. Therefore, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) could start a new auction process for TV rights. So far, Turner (Time Warner) has already submitted a proposal.
In a statement, the Presidential Chief of Staff , Fernando de Andreis, announced, “the Government accepted the termination of the contract signed with AFA for Fútbol para Todos program, but will keep soccer matches free and open to all until 2019”.
In this way, the Government of Mauricio Macri, who took office in December 2015, accepted the request previously made by 95% of clubs of First Division and most of National B division to conclude the contract. The clubs also proposed holding an international auction to seek “private bidders”.
The Government of Argentina had acquired the TV rights in 2009, during the presidency of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. The agreement was in force until 2019 and established that all the matches had to be broadcast free of charge on national TV. Previously, the owner of the rights was Grupo Clarin.
According to the Clarín newspaper, media company Turner offered AR $ 3,200 million per year (USD213 million) for the TV rights. Neither the Government nor AFA have informed yet when the auction would take place or if AFA will accept or not Turner’s proposal. Last April, Fox Networks Group (FNG) Latin America also confirmed its interest in broadcast rights of Argentine football for Fox Sports channels.