Unipublic sold to TV channel

The Tour of Spain is set to change hands as its owners, Unipublic, announce they are to be taken ove

The Tour of Spain is set to change hands as its owners, Unipublic, announce they are to be taken ove

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Unipublic, the marketing and sports events company that owns the Tour of Spain, has been bought by Spanish commercial television and radio company Antena 3 Television. The acquisition is set to cost Antena 3 42 million euros and should be finalised in the coming weeks when full agreement on the deal is received from both sides concerned.

Unipublic's sale won't affect the running of the Vuelta or, indeed, any of the other sporting and marketing commitments the company is currently involved in. It also won't affect the Vuelta's existing television deal with the state-owned Spanish channel, which runs for the next three seasons.

As well as the Vuelta, Unipublic has also organised and promoted a variety of other sporting events in recent years, including world championships for skiing, rhythmic gymnastics, karate and this year's world road cycling championships, which take place in Madrid in September.

Unipublic has been open to offers for the Vuelta for a number of years, and last season it was widely thought that the Recoletos media company that owns sports daily Marca was about to buy the event or the Unipublic group. Both sides in the new deal have said that the takeover will be "positive for cycling", although it remains to be seen how the move might affect ongoing discussions with the International Cycling Union about the inclusion of races owned by the three major tours in the ProTour. If the deal is confirmed, all three major tours would be owned by media-based companies.

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