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Barcelona and Real Madrid were amongst four Spanish soccer clubs fined on Monday for breaking competition rules on television rights sales.

Barcelona and Real Madrid were amongst four Spanish soccer clubs fined on Monday for breaking competition rules on television rights sales.

The fines, totaling some €15 million were handed down by Spain’s National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC). The other clubs involved are Sevilla and Racing Santander, while broadcasters Mediapro have also been hit with sanctions.

Mediapro agreed deals with all four clubs to broadcast games for a four-year period in spite of Spain’s competition commission outlawing the sale of rights beyond three years in 2010.

Real Madrid have been hardest hit and will be forced to pay €3.9 million. Barcelona were fined €3.6 million, Sevilla €900,000 and Racing Santander €30,000. The fines correlate with the rights fee negotiated by each club with Mediapro.

Spanish clubs continue to negotiate individual broadcast contracts with media companies, rather than the collective model in place in several other major European leagues, notably the Premier League and the Bundesliga.

According to an AFP report on Monday, the CNMC described the breaches as “a very serious infraction”. Mediapro, however, has indicated it will appeal the decision, believing its contracts comply with current Spanish legislation.

FC Barcelona’s contract with Mediapro, which is part of the Prisa media giant, was last renewed in 2011 and is believed to run until June 2015, effectively the end of next season. The deal is said to be worth some US$219 million per season and covers all league and cup matches, friendlies, and control of the club’s in-house television channel, Barca TV.

Barcelona currently sit top of La Liga, with Real Madrid in third place. Sevilla are eighth while Racing Santander are this season playing in the Segunda B Group 1, Spain’s third tier.

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