After a drawn-out negotiation process, it was confirmed last night that Fox-Turner have won the rights to broadcast Argentine football.
The company, a joint venture between the two North American media powerhouses Fox News and Turner Broadcasting System, will be in charge of broadcasting Argentine first division tournament matches for the next five years.
Torneos, the last Argentine company to hold the rights before the government introduced Fútbol Para Todos back in 2009, will take care of the program’s general production.
The fee that Fox-Turner will pay annually – AR $3,200 million – is a huge increase on the AR $1,800 million paid by the Argentine government to AFA to carry out the state-sponsored Fútbol Para Todos (FPT) scheme. And that’s without taking into account the AR $1.2 billion upfront payment that AFA also demanded from the bidding companies. FPT will officially come to an end when the next season of the Argentine tournament begins in August.
It has also been reported that the key point of negotiation revolved around a special clause in Fox-Turner’s offer. The company allegedly stated that, should they be awarded the rights, Torneos would drop their lawsuit against the Argentine football body for prematurely ending their contract to broadcast Argentine football eight years ago. With that in mind, it’s likely Fox-Turner offered a form of settlement to the company with which they will now work above.
What is still left to be decided in the next few days is whether a handful of ‘less important’ fixtures will be granted to ESPN.
All contracts should be signed on March 29th. It is expected that on the same day the AFA Assembly will meet and elect Claudio ‘Chiqui’ Tapia, head of second division side Barracas Central, as their next President.