Atletico Madrid told to pay up for TV rights

Atletico Madrid have been ordered to pay 9.8 million euros to media company Mediapro in a dispute over television rights.

The Court of First Instance in Madrid found the Spanish first division club liable on Thursday of breaking a contract with Mediapro, signed in 2010, to provide exclusive rights to all of their league matches.

However, Atletico vowed to appeal the ruling, which, if upheld, would be payable in three instalments of 3.2 million euros over the next three years.

"The sentence is not final. There are still two courts to which we can appeal: the High Court of Justice and the Supreme Court. We will definitely appeal," said a spokesman for the club.

The Madrid club had tried in vain to argue that the contract was anti-competitive according to latest rulings by Spain's competition regulator and should thus be declared void.

Atletico then signed a new deal with Digital+ in June of last year along with eight other Spanish First Division clubs who also had ongoing contracts with Mediapro.

Athletic Bilbao, Celta Vigo, Espanyol, Getafe, Osasuna, Real Sociedad, Real Zaragoza and Real Betis now also face having to compensate Mediapro.

Mediapro said it had the right to be indemnified for the failure to comply with the contracts and indicated it would take similar action against the other clubs.

"This is the first sentence handed out in the claims made by Mediapro against the clubs that broke ongoing contracts," it said.

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