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Vodafone Spain shifts away from football rights

Telco announces it will focus on high-end TV and film content instead

Vodafone Spain has announced it will not offer its customers content from the UEFA Champions League or Telefonica’s Partidazo package during the 2018-19 season.

The company cited the constant increase in the cost of football rights and the “wholesale model” in Spain. It said it has rejected Telefonica’s resale model for the UEFA content but that it is open to further negotiations.

Telefonica offered Vodafone access to European matches on a minimum-payment basis.

Instead, Vodafone said it would offer existing subscribers a reduced service with eight Spanish first division matches as well as all second division and Copa del Rey games at no extra cost. It will charge new customers €5 for the football content.

Vodafone said its own research shows that while 53 per cent of viewers regard film packages as fundamental when choosing their operator, 21 per cent said the same about football.

Vodafone is already carrying content from HBO, Filmin, AXN Now, Netflix and Telefonica’s Movistar.