Conmebol and Facebook ran an agreement in October 2018 to broadcast some Libertadores Cup matches on the social network between 2019 and 2022. According to it, those matches played on Thursdays can be watched in Argentina only through Facebook. Social network’s entrance to sports broadcasts generated a statement from Red Intercable, an independent cable TV operators organization in the country, in which the company states that Facebook ‘limits Argentines rights to watch football’.
In the text, Lucio Gamaleri, Red Intercable’s Vice President, states that the agreement “deprives more than 70% of Argentines who could receive them (football matches) through the basic package of pay TV services, constituting a violation to free competition’. And he adds that ‘quality and friendliness of the visualization through a social network are not properly guaranteed yet. In addition, it is the first time that an agreement has been established with not other broadcasters inclusion. Never in history has Conmebol cut off the access right, much less at a multinational corporation hands, that is practically monopolistic in many aspects’.
As detailed in the statement, this action ‘seriously affects pay TV small and medium businesses, which are those that provide internal access services to citizens. In Thursday’s meetings Argentina teams main matches are scheduled, which now can only be watched, with several difficulties, by means different from TV. It means an abrupt cultural change, the beginning of the end of the social gathering together with the TV and a notable increase in data consumption for users who want to access by their mobile phones’.
Jorge Di Blasio, President of Red Intercable, said in the agreement that media and telecommunications companies represent between 3% and 5% of GDP in regional countries. Our infrastructure development contributes to generating together with Southern Cone companies more than 150,000 jobs. They are the digital economy highways, access to information and equal education regardless where you reside. In contrast, social networks do not group more than 30,000 jobs, do not generate infrastructure, do not invest in countries, do not contribute taxes, do not develop regions, only extrapolate and use other people’s networks. With this agreement, Conmebol validates a dominant position that benefits nobody but this company’.