Photo via TN

Beginning next weekend, Argentine football fans will need to pay a monthly AR $300 suscription in order to watch matches of the first division tournament – called “Superliga” – via TNT Sports and Fox Sports Premium.

El Cronista reported that since the American sports channels bought the TV rights to Argentine football- committing to pay AR $17 billion throughout five years – it was known that customers would have to pay for the service.

However, the government managed to get the companies to maintain the option for customers to watch the games in standard definition for the first three months at no additional charge. This was an attempt to make the transition towards paid football easier for Argentines, considering that the Cristina Fernández de Kirchner administration bought the rights to broadcast the games “for free” – it wasn’t free, people’s taxes paid for it – through the Fútbol Para Todos (Football for All) program.

However, the Macri administration argued this was an unnecessary cost for the state and decided to put an end to it last year, instructing the Argentine Football Association (AFA) to find a new buyer – which ended up being the association between the companies that broadcast the games through TNT Sports and Fox Sports Premium.

For those of you who are not planning on paying, there’s a small silver lining. The companies announced that they will broadcast four games every leg of the league (fecha) on basic cable as well. So those who won’t buy the subscription will be able to watch one game per day from Thursday to Monday, when legs take place. However, these games will never include River or Boca – by far the two largest clubs in the country – nor they will be the most attractive of the leg, as the companies obviously intend to get as many subscribers as possible.

International competitions, foreign leagues and matches played by the Argentine national will continue their regular broadcasts; the subscription only includes the games of the Argentine Superliga.