Mediapro 'clinches deal to get LaLiga bar rights early'
Mediapro, the Spanish sports rights agency, is reported to have agreed a deal with telecoms companies Vodafone and Orange to acquire the live rights to show Spanish soccer's LaLiga in public establishments in the 2018-19 season.
The deal is worth around €120 million ($137 million), according to Spanish media.
Vodafone and Orange previously held the rights to show LaLiga and Copa del Rey matches in commercial premises such as bars, hotels, cafeterias and restaurants, in a three-year deal worth €300 million that came into effect in 2016-17.
However, the new arrangement makes commercial sense to the parties involved, given that Mediapro has already acquired the same rights for the 2019-20 to 2021-22 seasons, for €480 million, in a LaLiga tender concluded in June.
It is understood that the agency plans to promote its own television channel in the public establishments via deals with those operators that wish to show LaLiga. These are likely to include Telefónica-owned Movistar, while contracts Vodafone and Orange had agreed with bars for the 2018-19 season will be respected.
Mediapro will be setting greater store by LaLiga coverage in commercial premises in the next cycle given that Telefónica has snapped up the lion’s share of live rights (nine of the 10 games per round) in residential properties, in a three-year deal worth €2.94 billion.
The agency did retain international rights to the league for a further five years, offering a minimum guarantee of €4.485 billion.
In Spain, eight of the 10 LaLiga matches per week, plus selected games from the Copa del Rey, are presently shown on the BeIN LaLiga channel, owned by Mediapro and BeIN Media Group, the Qatar-based international broadcasting group, and distributed to various operators.
These matches are also available on over-the-top service BeIN Connect, whose soccer offering was boosted at the weekend with the addition of games from France’s Ligue 1.
The French league is already available, alongside the Uefa Champions League and Europa League, England’s Premier League and Germany’s Bundesliga, on the new Liga de Campeones channel launched on pay-television platform Movistar Plus.
A carriage deal has been reached for the channel with Orange, though not Vodafone, and Telefónica has been in negotiations with Mediapro about offering matches from the European clubs competitions on BeIN Connect in the 2018-19 season.
Telefónica is now the main power broker in the Spanish soccer rights market having landed the residential live rights to the Champions League and Europa League in June, in a three-year deal with Mediapro-BeIN worth €1.08 billion