Spain finally passed La Liga’s new plan to split up television revenue

This is a blog about a new television rights deal in Spain, but perhaps I can sex it up and encourage you to keep reading by using words and phrases such as “blockbuster,” “game-changer” and “parking their tanks on the English Premier League’s lawn”. Also, Real Madrid and Barcelona took a hit from the little guys, and you don’t see that very often.

Enacted by the Spanish government and a long time coming, the new rules will come into force next year and see 90 percent of the eagle’s broadcast revenue go to La Liga clubs, with half of it shared equally and the rest carved up according to performance and size. The other 10 percent will go to second division teams.

Currently, each club negotiates its own deal, which is great if you’re Barcelona and Real Madrid, less good if you’re Levante and Granada.

With the new plan, not only are broadcasters likely to pay more overall, the bounty will be split more evenly between the leagues’s best and worst teams, like in England. La Liga’s TV deals were earning less than half the amount generated by the EPL’s centralized contracts, even before the Premier League’s new $7.5 billion deal was agreed this year.

“You just have to see that last year the club that came last in the Premier League earned more than [current Spanish champions] Atletico Madrid,” said sport ministry spokesman Miguel Cardenal.

In 2013-14, according to AS, Liverpool made $131 million from TV and Cardiff, relegated out of the Premier League, $85 million. Madrid and Barça meanwhile collected $157 million, and the worst three teams in La Liga just $20 million. Even third-best Valencia got just $54 million.

Soon, things will get much more even, though Madrid and Barçca are such money-making machines, their power won’t be diminished significantly.

So, the theory goes, standards will be raised across the league, it’ll become more attractive to players, fans and sponsors, and in future years narrow the cash gap with the EPL. A retooled and belligerent La Liga will spark an intense battle for European hearts, minds and wallets – a brutal war for financial and footballing supremacy that could subjugate the mighty EPL and threaten the very future of elite soccer in England.

OK, that’s probably too much sexing-up of the story.


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