Who will broadcast the Copa del Rey final?

This question, which can be very easy to answer by consulting any sports website, is particularly complicated this year because of the Code of Ethics of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and the interference of the Courts of Justice.

Adrián Castro Gálvez

Date 24/05/2019

To situate the issue, we have to go back to the 7th of May, when the website IUSPORT published the news of the exclusion of the company Mediapro – responsible, among other channels, of Bein Sport Spain- from the contest for the award of the audiovisual rights of the Copa del Rey next Saturday between Barcelona and Valencia. We have to remember that the RFEF, although it is a private entity, has delegated public functions, that is to say, it acts as Public Administration in a series of questions, and for that reason it must stick to the same legal frame as them. For the commercialisation of audiovisual rights, Royal Decree 5/2015 imposes the duty of awarding them by means of a tender that respects the principles of equality and freedom of enterprise.

The reason for the exclusion, according to the RFEF, is due to Mediapro's non-compliance with the RFEF code of ethics, which prohibits the establishment of links with companies related to corruption cases, in which case an affiliate of said audiovisual group pleaded guilty in the USA to bribing directors to obtain audiovisual rights from another competition.   

As expected, Mediapro appealed its exclusion from the competition, considering that with this act the RFEF was violating the right to free competition and abusing its position of power, by substantially varying its conditions on the exclusion for cases in which the company has been convicted of a crime, making it now much more strict without any explanation. In order to be able to return to the tender, Mediapro presented a request for provisional measures before the Commercial Courts of Madrid.

The aforementioned provisional measure has been resolved this Monday by the Commercial Court 2 of Madrid, admitting Mediapro's claim, by means of an order in which the RFEF is ordered to include in the tender the offer of the aforementioned company, and to resolve the tender by adjudicating the rights in accordance with the foreseen procedure. 

The content of this Auto would not generate problems if the final were not to be played this weekend, and the retransmission of the same was not already adjudicated to TVE. Therefore, now great doubts are generated about the position of the RFEF with what is ordered by this Auto, since it is its obligation to comply with the content of the same one, but previously it will have to solve the contract that has signed with TVE with the consequent economic compensation that it entails, and all this having in the horizon that the match is next Saturday.

The RFEF has declared that it has not received the aforementioned Auto, but in the event of receiving it, its legal services will be in charge of analysing it and giving the most satisfactory answer possible.

The possible options of the RFEF before the mentioned Auto, can be: the fulfilment of the aforementioned Auto, proceeding to an express adjudication; or, to request for an incident of execution arguing the impossible fulfilment of the content of the Auto in view of the short time that it has to be able to carry out the complete adjudication procedure and so that the awarded audiovisual company installs the complete operative.

In short, as we said at the beginning of the article, it is not easy to answer the question posed, since at the moment the party's retransmission is more in the air than ever. It will be in the coming days when we see how the RFEF plays its cards to solve this problem that has been generated, and that television definitively retransmit the match.

So, the only certainty we have today is that next Saturday the ball will roll in Benito Villamarín at 21.00h. and Valencia and Barcelona will dispute the trophy, but we cannot say yet on which television channel we can watch the match.



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