Chivas Will Not Return to TV, Says José Luis Higuera, CEO

What: José Luis Higuera, CEO of Club Guadalajara, announced that his team would not return to television, neither open nor cable.
Why it matters: In 2016, the Chivas de Guadalajara club did away with broadcasting their matches on television to focus exclusively on their own streaming platform and a few alliances with Claro and Cinépolis.

Jose Luis Higuera, CEO of Club Guadalajara.

“There is no way Chivas will return to television,” said Jose Luis Higuera, CEO of Club Guadalajara, during his presentation at the 2017 Sports Innovation Summit (SiS) in Mexico City.

After a briefing in which the club’s general manager complained about the low amounts that brands pay to Mexican teams compared to European clubs, he explained that although the Chivas TV online platform still had flaws, the team would not be broadcasting their games again on Mexican TV.

Instead of returning to the traditional model of selling broadcast rights to the big TV networks, Higuera talked about creating alliances with new outputs such as the big movie theaters. Late last year, Cinépolis entered into an alliance with Chivas TV to include its matches on the OTT platform owned by the Mexican film company, Cinépolis Click.

In addition, Higuera sees good opportunities in broadcasting his team’s live matches on the big screen. “It’s already been done with Champions League and also the NFL,” said the club owner, whose soccer team is 100% composed of Mexican players.

Since its departure from open television, the Chivas club has received criticism for charging its fans for viewing the games on a platform that not everyone has access to and is also plagued with many flaws. However, Higuera is convinced that the only way to improve the team is through a greater injection of capital. This is just one more effort to bring revenue to the club.

Although he was not very clear about the launch dates for Chivas’s new alliances, he emphasized that the team would not be returning to the small screen under any circumstances.

Contrary to Higuera’s strategy in the Mexican market, Juan Carlos Rodríguez, President of Univision Deportes, also stated during the SiS that Chivas signed on for another year with the television station to extend its sale of TV rights to the U.S. market until 2018.