The entity in charge of the organization of Ecuador’s soccer tournament, LigaPro, terminated its TV broadcasting rights contractual relationship with GolTV, a sports channel that is part of Tenfield (owned by Uruguayan businessman Paco Casal), on June 6. According to a press release, “The Board of Presidents (Editor’s note: Presidents of the clubs that make up the league) has resolved to authorize LigaPro President to terminate the agreement with the company holding the league’s audiovisual rights.” The reason for the decision is the debt accumulated by Tenfield’s channel.

For several months now, Ecuadorian clubs have been demanding the amounts of money payable by GolTV under the rights agreement. In early May, the channel was given an ultimatum to get up to date. On one occasion, GolTV requested a rebate in the amount of the instalments, alleging the plunge of the Pay TV market, the high piracy rate in local soccer live broadcasting and the change in the tournament format as a result of the reduction of the number of yearly matches.

It is still unknown how the agreement will be terminated. The channel’s license became effective in January 2018 and it was granted for a ten years’ term. According to information given by LigaPro officials to the local press, it is during the upcoming break of the tournament to give way to the Copa América that a resolution will be taken regarding the steps to be followed.

It is important to mention that GolTV officer Carlos Moyano has countered with the channel’s own version on several local media. He says that no official communication has been received and asserts that there is no debt because the initial terms of the agreement have not been complied with. “They demand the enforcement of their rights while obligations are not complied with,” he complains.

GolTV aired the tournament’s matches live through its own channel. Some problems arose when several Pay TV operators decided to remove the channel from their lineups. The same course of action was then taken by all Pay TV operators and DirecTV was the last one to do so. In order to compensate for the loss of revenue, Tenfield entered into a sublicense agreement with The Walt Disney Company. At first, the matches were available on streaming service Star+ and in the latest tournament, when DirecTV removed the channel from its lineup, the matches were made available also on Pay TV channel Espn Extra.

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