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DAZN ‘close’ to Copa del Rey deal with Mediaset

Arturo Vidal of FC Barcelona shoots at goal during the 2019 Copa del Rey final against Valencia (by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Spanish free-to-air commercial broadcaster Mediaset is close to agreeing a sublicensing deal with DAZN for the Copa del Rey, it has been reported, in a deal that would mark the entrance of the subscription OTT operator into the domestic football rights market.

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) announced yesterday (Thursday) that a total of 16 matches from the first round of the 2019-20 Copa del Rey will be televised from December 17-19. These will include the matches featuring the 16 top-tier LaLiga clubs. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Atlético Madrid will only enter the tournament at the Round of 16 stage due to their presence in the Saudi-hosted Supercopa.

According to Spanish newspaper AS, the deal will allow Mediaset to broadcast the CF Intercity v Athletic Club match on December 17 on Mitele Plus, its own OTT platform, along with Atlético Antoniano v Real Betis clash on December 19. DAZN will cover the remaining 14 games, it has been reported. Negotiations are said to have continued today with a deal not yet completely signed off.

DAZN is said to have entered the original bidding for the domestic rights, forming a joint-venture with Mediaset shortly before the rights were awarded by the RFEF earlier this month.

The sale of the Copa del Rey domestic broadcast rights, along with “part” of the international rights, brought in a total of just under €80m ($88.2m) over the three-season cycle from 2019-20 to 2021-22.

The rights auction was a controversial one and Mediapro, the Spanish rights agency and production group, walked away from the process, saying that it had bid €13.5m per season for the rights in Spain.

In announcing the award of the rights, the RFEF said that the figures “represent the best results in the history of marketing broadcast rights” to the Copa del Rey. The €80m total would represent a combined fee of €26.7m per season for the domestic and international rights.

The federation added that it “hopes to exceed” a total of €100m over three years once the remaining rights in Europe and the rest of the world are sold.