Argentine sides enter The Copa Sudamericana on Tuesday night, with Tigre hosting San Lorenzo in the first leg of their preliminary round tie as I type, but I’m buggered if I’m staying up until the thing finishes – the goals will be online on Wednesday night. Given the fuss over the Primera División TV rights for the upcoming season though, it’s been announced officially on Tuesday that the lower divisions will continue to be shown by TyC Sports.
One club director exclaimed after the Primera División clubs tore up their contract with the broadcaster, ‘they’ve left us out in the cold!’ but it seems the B Nacional and Primera B (new readers note, those rather confusingly are the names of Argentina’s second and third divisions respectively) might actually have cause to celebrate now. Not only will their matches continue to be shown on TyC Sports – the number of matches televised live is now likely to increase as the network looks to fill the slots vacated by the top flight’s defection to public TV.
Marcelo Bombau, the CEO of TyC Sports, had already told the press; ‘the Ascenso [the Argentine name for the lower divisions] is going to continue being televised by TyC,’ and this was confirmed by the AFA’s executive secretary, José Luis Meiszner. Meiszner is also a former president of Quilmes and one of the main architects of the ‘deal’ which saw the Primera break away from the contracts they’d signed with TyC.
The current contracts are likely to be renegotiated so that lower division clubs will split more than the AR$25 million (US$6.5 million) currently paid to the B Nacional (the Primera B, AKA B Metropolitano, gets AR$15 million at present) in return for the increase in screened matches, and this could also have knock-on effects for the other divisions in Argentina’s pyramid, the Primeras C and D and the Torneos Argentino A and B, and Torneo del Interior.
One factor that might push the figures still higher is that some matches might be of interest to rival broadcaster América, who are partly owned by Daniel Vila, a former president of Independiente Rivadavia de Mendoza. At any rate, the present situation is that of this weekend’s matches, four B Nacional and two Primera B games will be screened live by TyC Sports. The AFA seem to have done this entirely accidentally, but somehow they’ve managed to make even more live football available on Argentine television.