The Spanish government has given the green light to a plan by the country’s official football league to introduce UK-style collective bargaining for TV rights before the start of the 2016-17 season. The new deal will bring to an end a system in which rights are sold by individual clubs and could lead to a sharp price increase in costs for companies such as Telefonica and Mediapro. Spanish clubs currently share around EUR 750 million per season in rights, although Barcelona recently announced a one-season deal with Telefonica for EUR 140 million. Under the new system, clubs will collectively earn around EUR 1 billion per season, still far less than the GBP 1.7 billion (EUR 2.3 billion) that English Premier League clubs will obtain per season from Sky and BT under the recently-signed contract for 2016-2019.

However, the new system will seek to redress the imbalance whereby Real Madrid and Barcelona received the lion’s share of TV cash. Of total revenues from the sale of the rights, around 90 percent will now go to all of the clubs in the first division and the rest to the second, with half of the income shared out equally between all first division clubs, according to sports and culture minister Jose Ignacio Wert. The other half will be distributed in accordance to each club's performance in the previous five seasons, its size, income and other criteria.
Mediapro, which has its own pay-TV channel GolTV, currently has the rights to many club games, including those of Real Madrid, and is said to be negotiating with Qatar-based television network Al Jazeera to launch a joint bid for the new collective contract via its sports rights unit, Futmedia. The broadcasters will likely have to compete with Telefonica, whose recent takeover of Digital+ has given the operator control of 80 percent of Spain’s pay-TV market as well as the rights to broadcast most Spanish football games.