Global sports provider Eleven Sports has secured live and exclusive rights to all La Liga matches in the UK and Ireland. The partnership will begin from the start of the 2018/19 season and will run for three years until the end of the 2020/21 season.
Sky had held the TV rights to Spanish top-flight football in the UK for over 20 years. The pay-TV broadcaster was reportedly reluctant to continue paying the £18 million per season agreed under its current deal.
Eleven Sports will announce details in the coming weeks about the ways in which it will package and distribute the action. The company said it “will bolster how live sport is currently delivered and give fans increased access and flexibility in their viewing options”. It is expected that Eleven Sports will form a deal with an OTT provider for coverage of at least some of the games.
“We are proud to build on our existing relationship with La Liga, this time in the UK, one of the most passionate football countries in the world where Spanish football has significant appeal,” commented Marc Watson, Executive Chairman and Group CEO, Eleven Sports, who in a previous role as CEO of BT TV, was responsible for the telco’s successful acquisition of Premier League rights. “This is an incredibly exciting time for our young and dynamic company and we will announce soon how we will introduce innovative ways for dedicated fans to watch and engage in the live action. The way people, especially young people, watch live sport is changing and we always try to reflect that in the ways we make our product available. We are excited about the opportunities we have to do this in the UK and Ireland.”
“Eleven Sports are an excellent partner for us in various markets across Europe and we are delighted to have the opportunity to work with them in the UK and Ireland – important markets for us in which LaLiga is very popular,” added Javier Tebas, President, La Liga. “We have worked very hard to promote the excellence of La Liga in the UK and Ireland and we are confident that Eleven Sports will help us to grow and innovate our brand in the market for years to come.”