La Liga and Facebook have agreed a landmark €32m deal for broadcasting rights in India.
La Liga fans were sent into despair when it was announced that Spain’s top flight league would not be telecast in the Indian subcontinent. Sony Television Networks had signed a deal worth €32 million and agreed to broadcast the league between 2015 and 2018, for a spell of three seasons.
However, after the expiry of the deal, Sony’s India based TV network refused to renew its association with La Liga. However, La Liga, on Tuesday, officially announced a tie-up with Facebook that would see all the 380 games from the league get aired on the social media channel.
It is one of the biggest deals in the history of social media networks and to make it better for the customers, is a free to air initiative.
This service would be available to those residing in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Maldives, Bhutan and Nepal. Both the parties refused to speak about the cost of the deal but were full of excitement ahead of the new season.
“We are really happy to be on a free to air service in such an important territory as the Indian sub-continent,” Alfredo Bermejo, La Liga’s head of digital strategy, told Reuters ahead of the announcement.
“One of our goals for the last two years has been to offer content to the widest audience possible, so partnering with free platforms like Facebook, which has 270 million users in India, is a key to us.”
Facebook began their new service of broadcasting sports online in 2017 with Major League Baseball being their first campaign. Later, Eleven Sports of the UK also agreed to telecast one game each of the La Liga and Serie A every week on Facebook.
The internet streaming through reputed channels is a budding prospect with Amazon also agreeing to broadcast the Premier League from 2019.
Also read: Where to watch Asian Games in India?
Peter Hutton, Facebook’s Director of Global Live Sports, however, described the deal with La Liga as an experiment, saying that while the company has other agreements in the works, he ruled out an immediate land grab of rights deals in sport.
“Were looking at a few other deals that are quite close to completion but this is not about going out and buying a huge amount of content worldwide,” he told Reuters.
“We’re looking at specific rights in specific markets and to try to learn from data from those experiences and work out what the next step is. If you rush into too many deals at once, you can’t do it properly.”