Barcelona and Real Madrid exempt from new noon kick-off time

With this week´s announcement of the new La Liga kick-off times causing a tumult of criticism amongst Spanish football fans, Jaume Roures, chief executive officer of Mediapro, the company that handles most of the broadcasting rights for first and second division clubs, says the start times are designed to ensure supporters can watch every game. He also confirmed that Barcelona and Real Madrid would be exempt from playing games at 12am on a Sunday because of “traditional reasons.”

In an interview with Catalan radio station RAC1 Roures said the two giants of Spanish football “are already upper echelon clubs that have no traditional kick-off time and whose stadiums are enormous, so there is no reason to take risks.” He added that while the noon kick-off time is not aimed primarily at the Asian market it will certainly have positive repercussions there, although curiously both Barca and Real have more followers in the Far East than any other Spanish club.

However, he defended the early start by saying the good attendances at previous midday games and the encouraging response of clubs to the new initiative convinced him the decision was the correct one. He continued: “Atl

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