Football: Spanish radios unite against league fees

8th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Spanish radios announced Thursday they are united in refusing demands that they pay for the right to broadcast live football match reports.

Rights holder Mediapro and the Spanish Professional Football League (LFP) this season demanded fees from radios that want to make live reports of first and second division games.

It is the first time in the history of the game in Spain that radio stations have been asked to pay for coverage.

"We refuse negotiation. We will not pay the levy," said the movement's coordinator Alfonso Ruiz de Assin, secretary general of Spain's association of commercial radio broadcasters.

"Paying to recount something: no! The listeners' right to information is sacred," Chema Abed, a well known journalist at state broadcaster RNE, told a joint news conference by the radios.

"We are all here to reaffirm that the LFP decision goes against the fundamental right to information of the eight million listeners who follow football on the radio at the weekend," said Manu Carreno, a star presenter at private station Cadena Ser.

"The presidents of several clubs have told me on condition of anonymity that none of this makes any sense," Carreno said.

But the clubs would not let the radio stations into the stadiums if they have not signed up to the new system because of league threats of fines of up to two million euros ($2.8 million), he said.

With few exceptions, Spanish stadiums are barring access to radio reporters because their stations have refused to comply with the new accreditation rules.

Radio stations say they are being asked to pay several million euros a season for the right to transmit live reports.

The league says many radios skirted the rules to give live reports anyway: some following the games on television from the studio, some from public seats in the stadium and others from nearby bars.

"We are going to put the facts of what happened before our lawyers and then they will advise on the appropriate actions," an LFP official told AFP last week.

© 2011 AFP

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