BUENOS AIRES: Argentinian football took a step back towards whatever counts for normality after Twenty-First Century Fox and Time Warner won a joint five-year contract to broadcast local league football.

Fox Sports Latin America, a unit of Fox, and Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting System Latin America Inc won a three-way race for television broadcast rights against the United States’ ESPN and Spanish company MediaPro.

Local media reported that Fox and Turner would pay $206m per year and $77.2m as a guarantee. The channels will begin broadcasting when the 2017-18 season begins later this year.

The companies will also take on the court case brought by the powerful Clarian media group against the AFA which sold rights to the last government of Cristina Kirchner Fernandez for its controversial free-to-view Futbol para Todos programme in 2009.

The new centre-right government of President Mauricio Macri, a former president of Boca Juniors who took office in December 2015, cancelled the contract and paid up the remainder of the deal which had been due to run until 2019.

The broadcast deal comes a week after Argentine players ended a strike that delayed the start of the season by more than a month. Many players in the financially troubled league, especially in the lower divisions, were owed up to five months in salaries.