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Spain’s top flight football league La Liga has agreed a domestic television deal worth €2.65 billion. Including international rights deals struck in the summer, La Liga’s overall television revenue has risen from €800 million a season to nearly €1.5 billion a season.
Telefónica subsidiary Movistar will have first choice of one match from each round of fixtures for €250 million a season, with multimedia communications group Mediapro securing the rights to eight other La Liga games each weekend. The deal is set to rise with eight other available packages including Copa del Rey games, highlights and one La Liga match per round of fixtures to be shown on free-to-air television still to be agreed.
The rights deals follow the introduction of legislation in April 2015 which required the clubs to bargain such deals collectively. Previously, they negotiated their TV deals individually, which allowed Barcelona and Real Madrid to garner some 50 per cent of the overall sum. The new system sees 10 per cent of the revenue raised going to second-division clubs. Of the remaining 90 per cent, half is split equally amongst all 20 top-flight clubs. Another quarter is allocated based on league results from the previous five seasons, whilst the final quarter is awarded on a variety of criteria such as number of club members and attendances.
Telefónica’s loss of the bulk of premium football rights will undermine its strategy to capture pay-TV viewers through premium content.