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LA Liga broadcasting dispute settled

The broadcasting dispute that had threatened the start of the 2012-13 Spanish Liga season was settled as the Mediapro agency agreed a three-year deal with pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus to share the television rights, reports SportBusiness. The agreement, which takes effect for the new season and runs through to 2014-15, will allow Prisa-owned Canal Plus to televise 28 games involving Real Madrid or FC Barcelona per season, including the first-choice match pick of the day, on its Canal Plus One channel.

It will show the other eight matches on its Canal Plus Liga channel. The channels will each show one of the two 'Clásico' games between Real and Barcelona.

Mediapro's Gol TV pay-television channel will show eight Primera Division games every week, including at least one Real or Barcelona game, plus one Clásico game per year.

Commercial broadcaster La Sexta, owned by Mediapro, will continue to broadcast one game per week and a highlights programme on its free-to-air television channel. Mediapro will also distribute the international rights to the Liga and Copa del Rey.

Mediapro said in a statement: "The agreement, reached... with the decisive intervention of the Secretary of State for Sport, Miguel Cardenal, sets a viable model for the Spanish league and presents a stable and standardised scenario for football fans during the seasons 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15. The professional football league (LFP), for its part, guarantees compliance of the new agreement signed between both operators."

The LFP avoided the possibility of seeing the start of the Liga season postponed for the second consecutive campaign by staging an extraordinary general meeting with 13 unhappy clubs last week.

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Dave Williams

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