Hajduk Disagrees with 10-Year TV Rights Deal Proposed by HNS

By 10 June 2020
Hajduk Disagrees with 10-Year TV Rights Deal Proposed by HNS
Robert Matic /

June 10, 2020 - HNK Hajduk attended a meeting held by HNS this week on the topic of a new TV rights agreement for Croatian football.

Hajduk announced on its website that at the meeting, the received offers were only presented in principle. The most financially generous one, which is for a period of 10 years, was selected (7 fixed + 3 extension options).

"The President of the Management Board Marin Brbić, as a representative of HNK Hajduk, requested full information about the bidder with the most generous offer to determine all the circumstances to make the best decision, which includes an assessment of the reliability and quality of the business of the partner with whom such a long-term contract is concluded, as is common in the business world.

Despite the request of President Brbić, HNS did not offer any information to confirm the creditworthiness or business references of the said bidder. Shortly after the meeting, the media reported that it was a company founded just three months ago with a share capital of £6,000, which applied for the tender without any bank guarantees for the submitted bid, which only confirms the justification of President Brbic's request.

HNK Hajduk believes that a serious partner must give a bank guarantee for the first year for such a long time immediately upon concluding the contract and buy the rights from the next season by paying the existing owner of TV rights, which would be logical - for both new bidders and clubs of the Croatian First League. Thus, we remain two years in anticipation and uncertainty whether the mentioned agreement will be realized at all, especially since at that time none of the signatories of the contract has to be in office, bearing in mind the HNS elections that await us next year.

The current amount that clubs receive is miserable and below any level, the offered increase is just a correction of an anomaly from the previous contract, and the key problem remains the contract term of 10 years. It is an indisputable fact that the value of TV rights has jumped by 65% globally in the last four years alone and this is the best indicator of how harmful it is for clubs to sign a contract for 7 or 10 years, and HNK Hajduk warns about that all the time.

We are aware that for some clubs, this growth represents a huge jump in their budget, but we also believe that the interest in our league is great and that it has a greater value than has been valorized so far. The fact that 430,000 people watched the second game of the Croatian Football Cup semifinals on HRT speaks volumes about the interest in our league.

Finally, HNK Hajduk expressed dissatisfaction with the availability of information about the selected bidder, the fact that the clubs were denied the right to negotiate TV rights as their own product and the duration of the new contract. Accordingly, President Brbić announced at the meeting that HNK Hajduk will submit a request to independently dispose of the TV rights of HNL matches in which it is the host, and that it will translate this into a formal request to HNS. If Hajduk's request is rejected according to the usual form, the Club will resort to all available legal means to protect its interests."

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