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jueves, 9 de febrero de 2012

Por qué la venta individual de los derechos de retransmisión del fútbol por televisión sigue siendo la solución más competitiva

En el blog nos hemos ocupado algunas veces de la comercialización de los derechos televisivos de los equipos de fútbol. Hemos publicado incluso un artículo en el Homenaje a Aníbal Sánchez. Budzinsky, uno de los economistas europeos que más ha escrito sobre esto, ha publicado un buen sumario del estado de la cuestión en Europa y en relación con el Derecho de la Competencia. Y como sostiene planteamientos parecidos a los nuestros, nos complace resumirlos aquí
1º Autorizar la comercialización centralizada de los derechos de retransmisión televisiva de los partidos de una Liga (como se hace en Italia, Alemania y Gran Bretaña) no está jutificado sólo porque se diga que, de esa forma, se reducen los costes de transacción (no tiene que existir una negociación de cada uno de los equipos con cada uno de los operadores interesados en adquirir los derechos):
The single-point-of-sale argument appears to embrace an unorthodox transaction cost concept at first sight. Indeed, having a monopoly supplier reduces transaction costs in the sense that costs of searching and selecting disappear. It would be a mistake in economic reasoning, however, to confuse „minimum transaction costs‟ with „efficiency‟. Competition involves necessary transaction costs since it creates product and service diversity, allocative efficiencies as well as innovation and technological change. All these factors, however, improve consumer welfare despite the generated transaction costs – consumer welfare both in terms of lower prices and a consumer-preferences-driven evolution of the product and the related services. Thus, arguing that a single point of sale provides efficiencies due to the reduction of transaction costs is a nonsense argument from a competition economics perspective and a dangerous reasoning.
2º El argumento según el cual, esta bien repartir los ingresos entre los distintos clubes que juegan la Liga para garantizar un cierto equilibrio competitivo (que no haya demasiada desigualdad entre clubes) se va desacreditando
The reluctance of the Commission to embrace the competitive balance defense as a justification for antitrust exemptions, on the other hand, corresponds to a growing skepticism in the sports-economics literature, casting doubt on the interrelation of „more balance‟ and „more attractiveness‟ (Peeters 2009; Pawlowski et al. 2010) as well as on the pro-balance incentive for league managers (Szymanski 2006) or even dismissing the competitive balance justification in total (Mehra & Zuercher 2006; Massey 2007). Still, given the comparatively considerable weight that U.S. antitrust authorities are putting behind the competitive balance defense, it seems surprising that it did not play a role in the Commission decisions
3º Bajo las autorizaciones de las autoridades de competencia para la comercialización centralizada se oculta, a menudo, un deseo de éstas de "meter la cuchara" en un sector de mucha proyección pública como es el fútbol realizando una suerte de regulación por quien no le corresponde.
the interesting thing is the degree of detail of the intervention by the FCO (la oficina de cárteles alemana). At the end of the day, the FCO and the DFL (Liga de Fútbol de Alemania) – in detail – negotiated about the time slots for the matches, the allocation of the matches over the weekend and the timing of different types of television coverage. It can hardly be the task of a competition authority enforcing competition rules to engage in such a detail regulation of management issues. However, this – admittedly extreme – example stands in line with the tendency of competition policy in Europe to negotiate „deals‟ with the norm addressees and reach consensual solutions (commitments, settlements and remedies). This tendency is favored by the case-by-case approach, i.e. departing from a rule-based policy and moving towards detail-assessments of each single case.
Budzinski, Oliver, The Institutional Framework for Doing Sports Business: Principles of EU Competition Policy in Sports Markets (January 24, 2011). University of Southern Denmark Department of Environmental and Business Economics - Markets and Competition Working Paper No. 2011-0124. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1746948

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