Juan Carlos Rodriguez


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.

A lot is going on in the Sports Marketing front. First and foremost FIFA’s controversial decision to extend 2026 World Cup Rights without consulting with former right holders Univision and ESPN. What are the implications of this decision? Plus Vince Doria retires, Kingsford Charcoal new bags and more…

DOWNLOAD our just released 2015 Soccer Marketing Guide!: Portada’s 2015 Soccer Marketing Guide!

Is FIFA trading 2022 Winter in Qatar for a 2026 World Cup in the U.S?

fifaWe recently reported that FIFA extended  the Soccer World Cup broadcast rights for Telemundo (Spanish) and Fox (English)   to the 2026 World Cup. At the time it was pretty clear that the FIFA decision would not go exactly “unnoticed” by Soccer Marketing stake holders. The New York Times asks: “Why, 11 years before the tournament was to be played, did the agreement need to be made, especially if the United States had a chance to host the Cup? The article continues by asking why if Fox and Telemundo have not broadcasted a single match yet, are they being rewarded with the broadcast rights of an additional World Cup? Former right holders Univision and ESPN were not consulted by FIFA spokespeople for both media companies said.

It was pretty clear that the FIFA decision would not go exactly “unnoticed” by Soccer Marketing experts.

As we reported in a prior article, the main motivation by Fifa to extend the rights is to appease Fox, and to a lesser degree Telemundo, because it is moving the 2022 Qatar from Summer to Winter, a time when the Soccer World Cup competes with more sport events than in the Summer. Juan Carlos Rodriguez, president of Univision Deportes, told the New York Times that FIFA failed to maximize the value of the United States rights in its deals with Fox and Telemundo and that the agreements jeopardized the possibility of the 2026 World Cup coming to America.“If the rights are already fixed,” he said, “there’s little incentive to FIFA to award 2026 to the U.S.” He added: “If we had been asked to bid, we would have taken it very seriously.”

Kingsford Charcoal bags feature Ed O’Bannon

Don’t expect to see any Kingsford Charcoal signage during the NCAA tournament next month. The company likely killed all hope of that last week when it unveiled special-edition bags of charcoal trolling the NCAA. The image on the front of the bag is that of Ed O’Bannon, the former UCLA star who last August won a lawsuit challenging the NCAA’s unwillingness to pay athletes for the use of their names and likenesses. The bags also feature the hashtag #PayEd and the slogan “Lights 25% faster. Doesn’t burn athletes.””Kingsford Charcoal has become one of the many companies to use the likeness of a famous amateur basketball player for marketing purposes during that mad, mad month of March,” a press release revealing the limited edition bags read. Kingsford is just adding a surprising twist: the charcoal brand is actually going to pay that player— Ed O’Bannon— for placing him on the front of a limited bag of charcoal.” One way in which Kingsford intends to compensate O’Bannon is through its #PayEd hashtag. For every tweet that includes that hashtag, Kingsford will pay O’Bannon $1, up to $25,000.

Vince Doria exits ESPN

Vince Doria, director of news at ESPN, is retiring from ESPN. Doria is ending one of the most remarkable careers in sports journalism. As sports editor of the Boston Globe during the 1980s, he oversaw one of the greatest sports sections ever with writers such as Peter Gammons, Will McDonough, Leigh Montville, Bob Ryan and many others. Then he got to work on an even greater section as a senior editor for Frank Deford’s The National. When the grand experiment for a national sports newspaper flamed out, Doria moved over to ESPN. When he arrived in 1992, the network’s fledgling sports news coverage consisted mainly of scores and highlights. Under Doria, the news operation has grown to what he terms as a “cross-platform behemouth” with hundreds of staffers. “I’ve been fortunate,” Doria said. “I don’t know if anybody has gotten all the chances I have.”

Join us at PORTADA Mexico!

Entravision to broadcast 2015 CONCACAF Copa Oro and CONMEBOL Copa America

Hispanic Soccer CrazeEntravision Communications Corporation announced that radio broadcasts of the 2015 CONCACAF Copa Oro and CONMEBOL Copa America Tournaments will be broadcast live on 16 Entravision radio stations in 15 markets across the United States from June 12, 2015 through July 26, 2015. These games are part of a comprehensive rights agreement with Futbol de Primera providing Entravision with the radio broadcast rights to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Following the enormous ratings success of the 2014 FIFA World Cup radio broadcasts, which delivered as much as a 30 share in Hispanic Men 18 to 49 years of age, Entravision is in a unique position to deliver live match broadcasts on its radio stations and offer extensive digital and mobile coverage through real-time updates, news and special soccer programming content. “Soccer is an integral part of Latino culture and we are thrilled to provide our audiences with premiere coverage of these marquee tournaments and connect advertisers with soccer’s most passionate fans,” said Mario M. Carrera, Entravision’s Chief Revenue Officer. Entravision will bring more than 30 Copa matches to Spanish-language audiences on all of the company’s owned and operated Univision and UniMas affiliate television stations, in addition to the following radio stations:

Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, CA – KLYY 97.5 FM / KDLD 103.1 FM

Stockton, Modesto, CA – KXSE 104.3 FM / KTSE 97.1 FM

Sacramento, CA – KXSE 104.3

Palm Springs, CA – KLOB 94.7 FM

Monterey, Salinas and Santa Cruz, CA – KSES 107. 1 FM

Phoenix, AZ – KBMB 710 AM, KVVA 107.1 FM and KDVA 106.9 FM

El Centro CA – Yuma, AZ – KSEH 94.5 FM

Reno, NV – KRNV 102.1 FM

Denver- Colorado Springs, CO – KJMN 92.1 FM

Las Vegas, NV – KRRN 92.7 FM

McAllen, TX – KNVO 101.1 FM

El Paso, TX – KSVE 1650 AM and KINT 93.9 FM

Lubbock, TX – KBZO 1460 AM/KAIQ 95.5 FM and KAIQ 95.5 FM

Albuquerque, NM – KRZY 105.9 FM

DOWNLOAD our just released 2015 Soccer Marketing Guide!: Portada’s 2015 Soccer Marketing Guide!

Brands are heavily taking aim at Hispanic World Cup fans. According to Adweek, Univision’s digital revenues in the upcoming 2014 Soccer World Cup have doubled versus the 201o World Cup. The rationale behind the strong growth is that even if Team USA looses early in the tournament, Americans, particularly US. Hispanics, will have many other Latin American and European teams to cheer for. As the biggest show in the world, the 2014 Soccer World Cup, starts this Thursday June 12 at 4pm EST with the match between World Cup host Brazil and Croatia, Portada interviewed  Juan Carlos Rodriguez, president of Univision Deportes, to talk  about this major global marketing and advertising event.

2014 Soccer World Cup
2014 Soccer World Cup

According to Rodriguez, the 2014 World Cup is going to be the most succesful ad-event in the history of Univision. An important reason behind the success is the fact that the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is taking place during a very similar timezone:  “This is the closest to prime-time we will be getting unless the World Cup comes back to the U.S.,” notes Rodriguez highlighting the commercial appeal of the broadcast rights, particularly on the East Coast (EST). On the Pacific Time Zone many matches will take place during the day, so that they will be streamed and seen at work. Univision Deportes also has the rights for digital video including desktops and mobile (smartphones, tablets etc…). While digital video ad revenues has increased substantially, Rodriguez says that there still is not a clear business model to monetize online video assets:  “Digital video everyone wants to dance but no one really knows what the dance is about.”

This is the closest to prime-time we will be getting unless the World Cup comes back to the U.S.

Long Sales Cycle

Another reason for Univision’s commercial success is that the World Cup was offered to advertisers not only during the 2013 upfronts but also during the 2012 upfront season.  At the time we talked with Rodriguez, a few weeks ago, there were still some open opportunities in the scatter  market. “Scatter has gone bigger and bigger”, says Rodriguez. We have been enlarging the game window from two hours to two and a half hours to make room for advertising. ” Univision Deportes has two type of clients. First type clients are 2-year plan partners which take a holistic approach and also include digital video (usually with a 90:10 ratio in favor of broadcast advertising). The second type of clients into which Univision Deportes is still selling into now are scatter clients who buy TV and Digital separately. Univision has several  other World Cup opportunities besides prime-Time TV and online video. They include promotions during the numerous World Cup News and Entertainment programs taking place during the 4 weeks the World Cup lasts. In addition, Univision Deportes is partnering with Televisa for the Super Guia magazine. It will promote the magazine and provide content, while Televisa will be managing most of the advertising sales.

We have been enlarging the game window from two hours to two and a half hours to make room for advertising.

The allure of Sports content

Sports content has a much less fragmented audience than other types of content due to the popularity of live programming. That is why, according to Rodriguez, the rights acquisition business is so important. Another key question is “once you have the rights, how do you proccess thems:

What happens after the World Cup?

Photo: Milas Page. Creative Commons.
Photo: Milas Page. Creative Commons.

Since 1978 Univision has had the Spanish-language broadcast rights for the every  Soccer World Cup. This is going to change after 2014 as Telemundo won the Spanish-language rights for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and 2022 in Qatar. How is this going to change Univision Deportes approach to agencies and brand marketers? Rodriguez answers talking about his “every week the best Soccer strategy,” referring to the exclusive Major League Soccer Broadcast Rights that Univision Deportes will continue to have. “Univision is going to continue with its franchises of Liga Mexicana, Mexican National Team, U.S. National Team and Major League Soccer,” he adds. Another programming asset are the recently announced rights for the Copa America 2016,, the most important national team soccer competition in the Americas which in 2016 will be celebrating its 100 anniversary.

Other Sports

Boxing, Football (NFL), NBA (Basketball) and Baseball (MLB) are going to be the other sports, besides soccer, Univision is going to pursue heavily going forward. According to Rodriguez Boxing is also very appealing although not all brands are ready to support it.


DOWNLOAD Portada’s Soccer 2014 Soccer Marketing Guide made in partnership with Soccer.com and AC&M   Group.