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Spanish operators kick off football price war

With the start of Spain’s La Liga less than three weeks away, a price war has broken out among pay-TV operators, resulting in low cost offers aimed at capturing new subscribers.

Orange is the first with a promotion of €9.95 a month to watch all matches from La Liga and the Copa del Rey throughout the season. Vodafone and Telefónica are likely to respond in kind, with current prices around €15 a month.

The move follows Vodafone and Orange main rivals acquisition of La Liga and Copa del Rey TV rights to in a deal with the telco estimated at €100 million, taking advantage of the obligation imposed by Spain’s competition authorities on Telefónica to open up its premium content to third parties as a condition of giving the go-ahead to its acquisition of Canal Plus.

Vodafone will broadcast ten La Liga matches a week, including every match involving Real Madrid and Barcelona and every Clásico game between the two teams. In addition, the Copa del Rey will be available on the platform following its acquisition of ONO in 2014.

Orange will also broadcast the games in competition with Telefónica.

Telefónica paid around €600 million for the La Liga rights in mid-July, although they will ultimately be managed internationally by Mediapro. Vodafone and Orange are the two first operators to buy the rights.

On the international scene, Mediapro and ESPN reached an agreement at the end of July to bring La Liga to Spanish-speaking South America up to 2020.

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