A new collective central TV deal will come into enforcement in 2016 for La Liga, after legislation was created last Thursday. This will help to distribute the wealth in the Spanish First Division, as inequality of income for television deals is prominent in the league.
The new legislation will come into effect in 2016 and will replace the current arrangements. The main line which denotes the inequality and lack of money in TV rights in the Spanish game is that last year’s bottom club in the Premier League received more money than the Spanish champions Atletico Madrid.
Many outsiders to the Spanish game question the quality of competition in the league due to hyping some of the more extraordinary results from the bigger sides such as Barca’s 6-0 and 8-0 victories against Getafe and Cordoba this week, as well as Real’s 9-1 demolishing of Granada a month ago.
However this is just the face off what is an ever-growing diversity in income between the top teams compared to those in the bottom half of the table. Currently, the way that Spanish football is broadcast is that each football club must negotiate their own TV contracts to broadcast their matches, known as a ‘rights of arena’ agreement.
Because of this odd arrangement there has been an imbalance of earnings between the clubs in the division for a while, leading to domination of the league by the large few, and the smaller clubs have struggled, often relying on third party ownership of players in order to afford them which has now been abolished by FIFA.
The new deal will aim to take the TV rights into ‘modern times’ as the sport ministry spokesman Miguel Cardenal, who leads Spain’s sports council, was quoted saying in the Guardian. It will cover the first two divisions in Spain as well as the Copa Del Rey and Super Cup competitions.
The television money will be divided more evenly, with half of all money being equally distributed to all 20 teams in the league, and then the other half distributed compared to certain criteria. Barcelona and Real Madrid have both agreed to the deal, as they were given assurances that their income would not significantly decrease.
This will hopefully lead to a more competitive title race, meaning more teams involved as the points tally between the top two or three is always close. We could see teams like Villarreal, Sevilla, Valencia and others pushing on and being more competitive throughout the season, which can only be good for all supporters in Spain and from those watching across the borders.
Although the more equally distributed money looks like a positive for the league, it may not be all good for clubs. Over the last few years the Premier League’s television deals have been increasing enormously, with the 15/16 deal worth over £5billion.
However the league has not particularly increased in strength, not as much as would have been suggested by the growth in revenue generated by the clubs. This could mean that all the money coming into La Liga may not grow the league as significantly as first thought, and could also see the diminish of all the fantastic home-grown talent spread out across the leagues. It is something that must be taken into consideration when looking at the new deal.
One last thing to note is that the new legislation has been created but not passed by the parliament in Spain yet. It looks unlikely that there will be much opposition though, as the ruling prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, has a large majority with his popular party in both chambers of the Court system.