Four months after publishing the opinion that disavowed the ESPN-FOX merger in Disney hands, the national government on Wednesday finalized approval of the divestment proposed by the multinational Mickey Mouse so that MediaPro would keep the “11 core contents” reported by The National. . The Competition Defense Committee objected.
The divestment as well as the Disney-Fox merger with these “remedies” were approved with the signature of the Minister of Internal Trade, Roberto Feletti, and the approval of the Minister of Productive Development, Matias Colvas. Perhaps to expose – also in this partial history noted in detail by the red circle – the different views in government, back and forth with the companies involved to polish the terms and conditions of the new sports TV scenario, Feletti has always shown himself more conservative than Colvas.
But what does the government’s decision consist of? Essentially, Disney transferred the list of rights licenses to MediaPro, a company founded by Catalan Tatxo Bennett and Jaum Rowers that Orient Hontai Capital landed in 2018 with a 53.5% stake package purchase. The multinational company of Catalan origin will take over control of the three primary Fox signals, which at the same time as the agreement progressed has already stopped broadcasting files only (many group stage matches in Libertadores are broadcast on Fox, Fox 2 and Fox 3).
According to the decision, these screens will display the “Conmebol Libertadores Cup (football tournaments in which first-class teams from the Argentine Professional Football League participate); UEFA Champions League (the international football tournament where first-class teams do not participate in the Argentine Professional League). Football); NFL (American football); MLB (baseball); Formula 1 (motorsports); UFC (fighting); WWE (wrestling); Super Boxing Champions (boxing); ACB (basketball); World Rugby Sevens (rugby); and the ATP World Tour 250-ATP Cordoba (tennis)”.
Far from being celebrated, there is a sense of accomplishment at Disney. The US holding company’s plan didn’t go as well as expected when the international merger with Fox was signed, but it wasn’t as bad as they once thought. The policy of “harm reduction” after the CNDC’s decision was reflected in this decision: After the poison darts launched in 2020 at the AFC when it threatened to terminate the Pro League television contract, this action is much more than that: almost a victory.
The decision does not refer to OTT platforms or various applications for watching sports, which also opens a void and a question mark about the future, while Amazon shows the intention of landing the televised football activity.
Backed by a team of lawyers specializing in these cases, Disney’s government-approved divestment has emerged as a plan B for the multinational Mickey Mouse in the face of potential disavowal, as has happened in countries as diverse as the United States, Mexico or Brazil. Through the historical association with MediaPro, both in joint business and in the personal relationships between its directors, at Disney they knew that the Catalan company was an indisputable new player due to its international experience, and above all for its possession of the rights to broadcast the Spanish league.
“IMAGINA MEDIA AUDIOVISUAL (MediaPro) fully complies with the requirements set forth in the Terms of Divestment Order to become a sublicensee of television rights relating to sports leagues and competitions that TwentY-FIRST CENTURY FOX, INC. was at the time of closing the reported operation,” as It was stated in the decision signed by Feletti.
Now, it remains only to turn on the TV and observe the changes that this approval produces.
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