- The deal would require the clubs to pool their broadcast rights
- Teams are currently allowed to sell their own individual partnerships
- Apollo reportedly offered to take on broadcast rights, sponsorships and stadium funding for La Liga MX
Private equity firm Apollo Global Management is seeking to offer Liga MX an investment of approximately $1.25 billion in exchange for a share of international media revenue from the Mexican soccer league, according to Sportico.
The sports outlet reports that New York-headquartered Apollo is targeting 20% of non-Mexican media rights profits from Liga MX over the next 50 years. Apollo would also own 20% of the new media company created under the deal.
Liga MX is the most watched soccer league in the United States and Apollo believes the competition has considerable growth potential beyond Mexico.
According to Sportico, Liga MX matches on Univision drew 920,640 viewers in the United States this season, more than Premier League matches on NBC (788,620) and Major League Soccer (MLS) matches in English on Fox. (436,750).
Apollo’s ‘Project Goal’ proposal would be conditional on Mexican clubs agreeing to sell their broadcast rights as a whole. Unlike most elite American and European leagues, Liga MX currently allows individual teams to sign their own commercial partnerships. Sportico notes that this has allowed bigger clubs like Chivas and Club America to sign lucrative broadcast deals in the United States, which is home to more than 36 million people of Mexican descent.
Apollo’s plan is also complicated due to the different networks broadcasting Liga MX games. In the United States, for example, the league is split between Fox Deportes, Univision, Telemundo and ESPN Deportes.
To help improve his chances, Apollo is said to be offering to underwrite Liga MX deals such as broadcast rights, sponsorships and stadium funding. The company also highlights its ability to be a “one-stop strategic partner” with no impact on the day-to-day management of the league and its 18 teams.
The $1.25 billion outlay would supposedly go to clubs for use in academies, stadiums or other expenses.
Sportico reports that Apollo currently has $498 billion in assets under management. His sports work includes funding some of Europe’s biggest football clubs, as well as major American leagues such as the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL) and National Hockey League (NHL).
The official presentation of Apollo to the Liga MX could take place as early as the start of this week. If and when it does, it marks another attempt at sports investing from a private equity firm. Apollo’s proposal would also follow a similar format to other deals in recent years, which see the leagues split their commercial rights into a separate joint venture and then let invest in that entity.
Recent football leagues that have taken this route include the Spanish La Liga and the French Ligue 1. Apollo was tied to a deal for the latter, although he lost out to CVC Capital Partners.
Beyond football, in February New Zealand Rugby (NZR) confirmed the Silver Lake investment, which will see the company inject 200 million New Zealand dollars ($127 million) into the new business entity. national governing body.
A Liga MX team, meanwhile, has already been the subject of external investment. Last year, a group led by former DC United manager Sam Porter struck a deal for a 50% stake in Club Necaxa.
Liga MX also made the decision in 2020 to scrap promotion and relegation for five years, bringing it into line with MLS and fueling further speculation that the two leagues could eventually merge.