La Liga deal for TV rights delayed by Catalonia uncertainty

October 17, 2017

A woman holds an estelada or independence flag on a motorcycle after taking part on a protest against the National Court's decision to imprison civil society leaders without bail, in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. Protesters were gathering for a fresh round of demonstrations in Barcelona Tuesday to demand the release of two leaders of Catalonia's pro-independence movement who were jailed in a sedition probe. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

MADRID (AP) — Spanish league president Javier Tebas says a new deal for television rights is being delayed because of the Catalonia crisis.

Tebas says the league has “suspended the commercialization of the international rights until the situation in Catalonia is resolved.”

Spain is in political turmoil after Catalonia held an independence referendum the central government said was unconstitutional.

If the northeastern region unilaterally declares independence, Catalan clubs such as Barcelona may not immediately be allowed to play in the Spanish league.

Tebas says on Tuesday the league will lose about 20 percent to 25 percent of its income if Barcelona left.

The new deal is seen as crucial for La Liga to keep competing financially with other leagues, such as the English Premier League.

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