Belarus-Spain rights still unsold

With time running out for television rights to tonight’s game between Spain and Belarus to be sold, radio stations are reportedly set to foot the bill.

German company Sportfive, an international sports rights agency, currently hold the rights to tonight’s 7pm UK time kick-off between Belarus and Spain, but have so far been unable to find a buyer to show the game in Spain.

Television companies cite a ‘lack of profitability’ for the game as their reason for not paying the original €3m or the reduced price of €1.5m reportedly still being pushed for at this late stage. The match’s early kick-off time, which is not viewed as prime time, and that it is a public holiday today in Spain are considered reasons for an anticipated low audience return.

TVE, who usually bid for games, has been hit by the economic crisis and declared last week that they would not be bidding for the game for budgeting reasons.

If no deal can be agreed and the World Cup qualifier at the Stadyen Dynama is not televised in Spain, then radio broadcasters in the country will reportedly face a higher fee to commentate on the game live.

Reportedly, radio companies intending to broadcast the match are being asked for a fee of €25,000 from Sportfive, if the television rights remain unsold. If a buyer is found in time to show the game on TV, then the radio stations will only have to pay €5,000 each for the game.

The Radio companies are understood to be unhappy at the suggested deal and are said to be considering commentating on television pictures in Belarus, rather than from the game.

Belarus-Spain is being shown in Italy, England, Saudi Arabia, France, Portugal and Belarus. TVE hold the rights to the France game next week, as part of a reciprocal agreement signed with a French television broadcaster.

Almost 5m people in Spain watched the team’s opening match of the Group I qualifying campaign, the 1-0 win in Georgia in September.

Tags 2014 World Cup Belarus Spain Sportfive TVE