As the new season of La Liga begins, the Indian fans of Spanish clubs received a big blow. There’s no TV broadcaster for La Liga in the country.
The new season of La Liga has sad vibes for the supporters of its two biggest clubs. Ronaldo has left Madrid and Andres Iniesta is no longer at Barcelona. But they suffered a major blow earlier this week, when Sony announced that they won’t be broadcasting the La Liga matches. So where can the fans watch La Liga in India?
Mumbai Mirror, a subsidiary of Indiatimes, reports that Facebook has bought the La Liga rights in India. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of the social media platform, has shelled out $25m (₹171 crore) to acquire the La Liga rights.
Interestingly, the broadcasting rights for the Premier League will also be up on sale on October this year. The three-year rights cycle for the English league will end this season. And Mark Zuckerberg is keen on buying the Premier League rights in the country as well.
Facebook officials have been silent on the La Liga rights, saying that they won’t comment on the issue as of now. SPN (Sony Pictures Networks), however, have officially announced that the Spanish league will not be on any of their platforms.
Hi,@imessivishal we do not have broadcast rights for La Liga 2018/19
— SPN- Sports (@SPNSportsIndia) August 12, 2018
While it is reported that Facebook users may have to download an app called ‘Facebook Watch’ to watch the matches, sources close to Facebook have said that the app would be in-built.
This is not the first time Facebook will stream any sports content on their website. The Carribean Premier League (CPL) is already being live-streamed on the app in various parts of the world, including South Africa. Facebook also has the rights to a significant number of NBA games in regions of the United States.
This will, however, be the first user-experience for Indian audience. Previously, Facebook attempted at buying the Indian Premier League (IPL) broadcasting rights, but lost the bid to Star.