Bloomberg News

Sogecable's Cuatro to Show Top World Cup Soccer Games (Update2)

June 01, 2006

Sogecable SA said its free-to-air television channel Cuatro will broadcast the main games of the World Cup soccer tournament.

Cuatro will broadcast the opening game, both semi-finals, the final match and those involving Spain's national team, Madrid-based Sogecable said in a regulatory filing today. Sogecable hired former Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona as a commentator for the tournament.

La Sexta, Spain's newest TV station and owner of the rights for the soccer tournament, had to share the rights of those games because according to Spanish law they are ``national interest'' games and La Sexta can't provide coverage for the whole country.

Sogecable's Cuatro paid La Sexta 20 million euros ($25.6 million) for the rights to broadcast the games, newspaper El Economista reported on its Web site, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the agreement. The filing provided no financial details.

Gestevision Telecinco SA, Spain's largest commercial television station, and its main competitor Antena 3 de Televi sion SA are taking legal action, according to a joint statement issued today. The companies consider that the process of granting the broadcast rights ``could violate the basic rules of the competition.''

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Tobin in Madrid at ptobin@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lars Klemming at lklemming@bloomberg.net


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