The company has been in dispute with Sogecable, the Prisa-controlled company that runs the Digital+ satellite platform and the Canal+ premium channels in Spain. Mediapro is due to pay €105 million to the Sogecable-owned sports rights broker AVS as a result of a long running court action over the rights to top flight Spanish football.
“The decision taken by Sogecable to not comply with their payment obligations corresponding to the contract for broadcasting rights of the Spanish football league (la Liga), has prompted circumstances which may force Mediaproduccion S.L. into a situation of a cash-flow imbalance,” said a Mediapro statement. “Faced with this possibility and grounded in a basic sense of prudence, Mediaproduccion S.L. has decided, to request judicial protection through a voluntary insolvency proceeding, in order to reach an agreement about the creditors.”
According to Mediapro, Canal will not be able to screen future games from La Liga. It says the decision to apply for a voluntary creditor’s meeting does not call into question the viability of the company and is entirely down to its dispute with Sogecable.
However, in a statement Sogecable said it intended to fulfil its side of the contract signed with Mediapro in June 2009. “Given the uncertainty created by some media regarding the future of football-broadcast rights, Sogecable wishes to stress that all subscribers to Canal +and Canal + Liga are guaranteed the broadcast of next season’s Premier and Second division league matches.”
Sogecable said the accusations made against it by Mediapro in its deposition on Wednesday were false. The company is seeking assurances that the €90 million it is required to pay as the first tranche of next season’s rights payment goes directly to the clubs.