AFA edges towards government deal
The Argentine government considers taking over the TV rights for its domestic football.
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2009 13:05 GMT

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez will have the final say [AFP]
A senior government official has confirmed that Argentina President Cristina Fernandez will have the final say if the government is to take over the TV rights to the Argentine football league.

Earlier this week the Argentine Football Association (AFA) rescinded a contract with the TV rights-holding company, hoping to sign a new deal that will more than double the revenue and help bail out heavily indebted clubs.

"If the president considers it appropriate, we'll begin looking at it,'' said Anibal Fernandez, the head of the cabinet in an interview with Argentina's Radio 10.

He said AFA president Julio Grondona would be meeting on Thursday with Fernandez.

The government has proposed paying the clubs $154 million for rights to televise this season, more than double the $69 million the breached contract called for the broadcast consortium to pay.

Argentine media have reported the government is offering $1.6 billion for 10 years of broadcasting rights.

That would help the top 20 clubs in Argentina's first division, which owe a combined $182 million to the league, the government tax agency and players.

The government, which lacks the capacity to televise all the league's games, could show some games on the state TV channel and perhaps resell rights to other cable networks or private channels.

The AFA this week said the season will begin on August 21, a week after it was originally scheduled.

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