LaLiga kicks off European rights sales process
LaLiga has initiated its sales process for media rights in Europe, inviting broadcasters and agencies to lodge their offers for rights to the Spanish top flight by 15 January and offering contracts of up to five seasons in length, depending on the country.
The request for offers, which also includes rights to the play-off matches for promotion to LaLiga, has been issued after delays caused amid uncertainty over what the political crisis in the region of Catalonia could mean for top club Barcelona.
Working with the Mediapro agency to sell the rights outside Spain, LaLiga is inviting bids for three-year deals in the European Economic Area from the 2018-19 season onwards.
Rights outside the EEA are available for five seasons (2018-19 to 2022-23, see table below) and bidders are asked to lodge a separate offer for each country in which they wish exploit the content.
Countries within the EEA but not listed among those covered by the process include Italy, Poland, Portugal and the Baltic trio of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
LaLiga broadcasting revenues have climbed significantly since the introduction of collective rights sales in 2015 and an international push by the league driven by president Javier Tebas.
LaLiga and Mediapro tripled the value of the league’s international media rights from €240 million ($283.8 million) in the final season of the 2012-13 to 2014-15 cycle to at least €640 million per season from 2015-16 to 2017-18.
|Countries and contract length proposed in LaLiga Request for Offers|
|European Economic Area - Up to three seasons, 2018-19 to 2020-21:
Austria; Belgium; Bulgaria; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Iceland; Ireland; Liechtenstein; Luxembourg; Malta; the Netherlands; Norway; Romania; Slovakia; Slovenia; Sweden; and the United Kingdom
|Outside the European Economic Area - Up to five seasons, 2018-19 to 2022-23:
Albania; Bosnia Herzegovina; Kosovo; Macedonia; Montenegro; Serbia; Switzerland; and Turkey
Agencies appointed to sell LaLiga media rights in Europe during the current cycle include MP & Silva, which markets the rights in Scandinavia, Albania and the Balkans and will be looking to bounce back from the loss of its Serie A international rights contract. Elsewhere, Turkey’s Saran agency markets the rights in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, while Asset Ogilvy sells the rights in Cyprus and Greece.
Obligations to be undertaken by those acquiring the rights in Europe include the linear transmission (on a ‘main channel’) of at least three games per match week, and two of which must be shown live. All games must be streamed live on the internet, while at least half of the end-of-season play-offs must also be broadcast on a linear basis.
The broadcast of the ‘LaLiga Highlights Show’ or a highlights programme to be produced by the buyer of the rights must be aired no less than 24 hours after the completion of each round. Weekly support programming such as ‘LaLiga Show’ and ‘LaLiga World’ must also be aired in full length.
Other programming offered in the request for offers includes an annual pre-season show (‘LaLiga’), an annual end-of-season, programme (‘Post-Season La Liga’), two ‘El Clásico’ programmes for the Barcelona-Real Madrid derby, five ‘special programmes’ per season and five-minute highlights each match day.
Rights excluded in the request for offers include:
• Streaming rights for betting operators;
• Radio rights;
• Commercial use of statistics, graphs or other similar content;
• Transmission of the signal in public places (‘without prejudice to the right granted to the successful candidate to transmit in restaurants, hospitals, schools, etc.’);
• Transmission via video-sharing digital platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo;
• Clips for non-linear distribution via the internet on social media unless the bidder acquires these rights for an additional fee.
LaLiga has also provided an estimated calendar of kick-off times from 2018-19 onwards that mirrors the current set-up: Fridays at 9pm (CET); Saturdays at 1pm, 4.15pm, 6.30pm and 8.45pm; Sundays at 12pm, 4.15pm, 6.30pm and 8.45pm; and Mondays at 9pm.
Bidders have been asked to provide the league with information on audience and subscriber figures (if applicable), plus a full programme schedule for games.
Following the 15 January deadline, the league plans to take just three working days to evaluate the bids and make a provisional award, with a signature of the binding agreements scheduled to follow within five working days from the provisional award.
Full details of the request for offers can be found here.