Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • ‘European GPS’ satellites launched into wrong orbit

    Read more

  • Merkel in Kiev as aid convoy ‘returns to Russia’

    Read more

  • Suicide bomber targets Iraq intelligence HQ in deadly attack

    Read more

  • Video: Israel bombs kidnapping suspect’s home

    Read more

  • US brands journalist’s beheading a ‘terrorist attack’

    Read more

  • Ebola prompts Philippines to recall UN troops in Liberia

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • US sued over ‘deportation mill’ in New Mexico

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels in face-to-face talks

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Ferguson

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • US job market yet to recover from recession, says Fed Chair

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Government to broadcast football for free

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-21

The Argentine Football Association has approved a deal with the government to broadcast games free on television, a week after it tore up a contract with a private cable TV provider.

REUTERS - Argentina's government has agreed to pay some $155 million to broadcast soccer for free on television, a move which critics said smacked of populism and again increased state control over the economy.
 
The Argentine Football Association, or AFA, said President Cristina Fernandez's government would shell out 600 million pesos a year to televise games on broadcast TV channels - more than twice what a private cable company paid previously.
 
"That's the figure given by the AFA president, so we assume it to be correct," association spokesman Ernesto Cherquis Bialo told local radio.
 
Opposition politicians have criticized the government for putting state funds into soccer at a time when the global economic slowdown and inflation are raising concerns about poverty rates in Latin America's No. 3 economy.
 
They also said it was another sign of expanding state meddling in the economy.
 
Fernandez and her husband and predecessor, former President Nestor Kirchner, have increased the state's role in various sectors, including a nationalization of private pensions funds and the country's biggest airline last year.
 
Cherquis Bialo said the broadcast deal would be a good business for the state.
 
"The state isn't going to subsidize football. The state's going to make a business out of it ... the state's going to make money, which will allow it to redistribute it in other areas," he said.
 
The global financial crisis has dried up a major source of funds for Argentina's debt-laden soccer clubs as European teams pay less to acquire South American players. The clubs have also been accused of mismanaging their finances.
 
The cash crunch even delayed the start of Argentina's soccer season, which had been due to begin on Aug. 14, after clubs fell behind on players' wages and taxes. The season is now due to begin on Friday.
 
The AFA last week ripped up its contract with TSC, which previously broadcast games on paid cable or satellite channels. TSC had refused to pay more for the broadcast rights.
 
Controversy over the government's foray into soccer has been fueled by TSC's links to the media conglomerate Grupo Clarin, whose newspaper has been increasingly critical of Fernandez's government. Grupo Clarin holds a stake in TSC.
 

Date created : 2009-08-21

COMMENT(S)