It’s not easy to separate Ticos from their soccer — especially when it comes to the Costa Rica men’s national soccer team.
But a broadcasting rights deal is threatening to do just that.
The Costa Rican Soccer Federation confirmed Tuesday that La Sele’s upcoming Nations League road matches against Haiti and Curaçao will only be broadcast on Tigo Sports. That is, they won’t be available on the public-access channels operated by Teletica and Repretel that are available in all households.
The agreement means Costa Ricans without Tigo who want to watch La Sele will need to do so through other means.
“International tournaments are managed directly by local television stations with the company assigned by CONCACAF or FIFA; therefore, the choice of which television medium broadcasts away games does not belong to FEDEFUTBOL,” the Federation said in a statement.
“This is the reason why Tigo Sports will broadcast the game.”
Costa Rica’s home matches in the Nations League will air on Repretel and Teletica, FEDEFUTBOL confirmed.
In a statement, Teletica said it had “sent an economic proposal within the framework of the usual market conditions” to broadcast the Nations League in Costa Rica, but the bid was rejected in favor of Tigo’s.
This isn’t the first time Costa Ricans have had to resort to alternative methods to watch their teams. When Herediano and San Carlos met in the Clausura 2019 semifinals — a game also broadcast exclusively on Tigo — tens of thousands of people tuned in to an unofficial live stream on Facebook.
La Sele faces Haiti on Thursday and hosts Curaçao on Oct. 13. It will face those same teams again in mid-November.