Mexican TV giant Televisa facing bribery lawsuit in U.S. federal court

Mexican TV giant Televisa is facing a lawsuit filed in U.S. federal court and linked to alleged bribes made to secure FIFA World Cup television rights. 

The complaint, filed on Tuesday in federal court in New York, alleges that Televisa used a subsidiary company to pay bribes in order to win the rights to the 2018, 2022, 2026 and 2030 editions of the tournament. The lawsuit also suggested that information about the payments were covered up.

The Colleges of Applied Arts & Technology Pension Plan, which owns shares in Televisa, alleged that they missed out on “hundreds of millions of dollars” due to the bribe payments.

Televisa used a subsidiary company to bribe to the FIFA officials, alleges the complaint.

Last November, a witness in the corruption trial of three former football officials stated that Mexico’s Grupo Televisa and Brazil’s Globo took part in a $15 million bribe to a FIFA executive to secure rights to the 2026 and 2030 World Cups.

Televisa denied the allegations and released a statement indicating that the lawsuit is an amendment of a previous complaint filed against the company in March.

“The points made in the document have no legal foundation, and also contain important errors of fact,” Televisa said in a statement carried by BuzzFeed. “Using independent lawyers, Televisa conducted a detailed investigation that concluded that no activity related to corrupt practices had taken place.”

Televisa is considered the largest media company in Latin America and owns Club America in Liga MX.

Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.