Telemundo Lands U.S. Multi-Platform Rights To Mexican Club Leon
Comcast-owned Spanish language network Telemundo followed through on a promise to remain a player for Mexican league soccer on Friday, landing multi-platform U.S. rights to Club Leon, a historically popular team that was promoted to the first division for ‘12-13. The acquisition comes six weeks after Telemundo competitor Univision swept in to secure all-platform rights to popular Liga Mx soccer club Chivas de la Guadalajara beginning next year. Earlier this year, four other clubs -- Monterrey, Toluca, Tigres and Puma -- moved from Telemundo to Univision. Mexican football draws the largest ratings of any sport broadcast in Spanish in the U.S., with telecasts of the national team attracting upwards of 5 million viewers and big games from Liga Mx pulling in 1-2 million. Liga Mx clubs negotiate media rights individually with networks in Mexico and the U.S. Most U.S. deals are spin-offs of those done in Mexico, with leading networks Televisa and Azteca distributing them to Spanish language networks Univision, Azteca America, ESPN Deportes and Fox Deportes. Only two clubs -- Chivas, and now Leon -- have negotiated separate U.S. deals. Telemundo did not disclose financial terms. Univision’s deal with Chivas pays the club upward of $15M a year, according to a television source familiar with Liga Mx rights. Telemundo airs the Mexican national team’s away games. In October, it secured Spanish-language rights to the FIFA World Cup for ‘18 and ‘22.