Argentine Sports Minister seeking FTA coverage of Primera División

Boca Juniors vs River Plate at La Bombonera stadium (Photo by Pressinphoto/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

Matías Lammens, Argentina’s minister for Sports and Tourism, has revealed that the national government is hopeful of a deal being reached to showcase club football matches on public-service television.

Lammens said that the government is not planning on reintroducing its ‘Fútbol para Todos’ (football for all) platform, through which it paid to ensure the top-tier Primera División was shown on free-to-air television. The FPT contract was terminated in February 2017.

Lammens said that while the FPT model was successful at the time, it will not be revisited and instead the government will look to work with broadcasters to reach an agreement.

“We want to work so that there are football games on public TV,” Lammens said, according to the Diario Democracia newspaper. “We would like to work with the owners of the rights so that Argentines have some games on their screen.”

Lammens’ comments come after the Argentinian Football Association (AFA) and the newly-created Professional Football League (LPF) earlier this week cancelled pay-television broadcaster Fox Sports’ rights agreement for the Primera División. Action was taken amid discontent over the outcome of the Disney media group’s acquisition of Fox’s parent company, 21st Century Fox.

With frustration growing within the governing body, it resolved to cancel Fox’s contract, which had covered 50 per cent of pay-television rights to the top flight.

Rival US pay-television broadcaster, Turner, holds the remaining 50 per cent via the Argentinian arm of its TNT Sports subsidiary. It is widely expected that Turner will now acquire the rights which had previously belonged to Fox Sports.