Published: Wed, August 15, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Facebook Beats Sony to Spanish Soccer Rights in India

Facebook Beats Sony to Spanish Soccer Rights in India

If Amazon has the Premier League, Facebook weren't going to wait far behind.

Facebook has acquired the media rights of Spain's top-division football championship, La Liga, for the Indian subcontinent. The matches will be available on the official La Liga Facebook page and individual club Pages.

In June La Liga announced it had renewed its contract for five seasons, between 2019-24, for the worldwide broadcast rights for the Spanish championship for around €4.48 billion euros - or about €896 million per season - a 30 per cent increase over the previous agreement. Facebook will live broadcast all 380 league games starting this Friday, when the new season begins, with analysis, weekly preview shows and highlights. Facebook has some 350 million subscribers in the subcontinent, including 270 million in India.

Peter Hutton, Facebook's Head of Global Live Sports Programming, said, "As home to the two most-followed sports clubs on Facebook and some of the world's most iconic footballers, LaLiga has a huge global presence on our platform. If you rush into too many deals at once, you can't do it properly". The games, which will feature teams including FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, will be shown live and for free.

The deal is the latest move by Facebook, and the tech industry in general, to invest in sports broadcasting rights for emerging live stream services.

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"We have rights to work with broadcasters and we may bring in partners to make sure the experience is right".

Facebook and La Liga did not announce the price of their deal.

The deal puts Facebook in competition with Fox's Star India, a network of over 60 television channels that brings sports, entertainment and news to more than 700 million people in India.

Facebook has 348 million users in the Indian sub-continent, while figures provided by La Liga show a rise of 2.2 million users in the league's social network platforms in the past year. We want to reach out to the biggest audience with the biggest platform possible.

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