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Real sign huge new television rights deal with Mediapro

Written by: Staff

MADRID, Nov 20 (Reuters) Real Madrid have agreed a 1.1 billion euro (1.41 billion dollar) deal with Catalan production company Mediapro for the rights to televise their matches, the nine-times European champions said today.

The club said that the agreement, which had been approved by the board, would run to the end of the 2012/13 season and was the biggest of its kind by a soccer club.

''With this deal, Real Madrid have guaranteed they will earn over 1,100 million euros for the granting of their audiovisual rights over the next seven seasons, including the present one,'' Real said in a statement on their Web site.

''This agreement is a landmark in the history of this institution as it constitutes the most important audiovisual contract for any sports club in the world,'' they said.

Real's television rights are currently owned by Sogecable , through Audiovisual Sport, who also hold the rights for most of the Primera Liga and second division clubs.

The present agreement, which runs until 2008, is reported to be worth around 55 million euros a year, but the new deal will see Real almost triple that figure and earn over 157 million each season.

Publicly-run regional television station Telemadrid also bid for the rights.

Mediapro, an affiliate of WPP group, signed a similar deal with Real's arch rivals Barcelona several months ago which was reported to be worth around 1,000 million euros.

The company then reached an agreement with Sogecable to exploit the rights on their pay-TV platform.

Reuters SAM DB1843

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