Spanish soccer’s LaLiga is planning to launch its own over-the-top streaming service to show games as part of its agreed tie-up with private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, it has been reported.
The move would challenge telecoms firms in the country which provide soccer streaming packages and generate additional revenue for the league, according to online outlet El Confidencial.
LaLiga last week announced a long-term agreement with CVC to form a new commercial arm to support the competition’s global growth plans and financially stricken clubs, with the firm investing €2.7 billion ($3.2 billion) and taking a 10 per cent minority stake in the entity.
El Confidencial reports that an in-house streaming platform is among the key plans under consideration between the two parties to drive up earnings for the league.
If it comes to fruition, it would come as a blow to companies such as Telefonica, the Spanish telecoms giant which presently holds extensive rights to LaLiga until the end of the upcoming 2021-22 season.
Telefonica’s three-year deal with the league is worth a total of almost €3 billion and it charges subscribers a premium to stream matches from the top Spanish league as part of its sports packages on the Movistar Plus platform which shows the games.
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Customers pay up to €130 per month to watch LaLiga on Movistar as part of a package that also includes telephone, cable television and internet services.
Just last month, Orange Espana, the Spanish arm of the international telecoms operator, extended its content-sharing deal with Telefonica to continue to offer top-level live soccer to its pay-television subscribers for this campaign.
La Liga and CVC believe they can offer a simple package of just soccer streaming for around €13 euros and attract a vast subscriber base in the country, El Confidencial says.
The domestic sales process for seasons 2022-23 to 2024-25 is set to take place in the coming months and president Javier Tebas has already stated that there will be a streaming element.
However, the league was widely expected to engage in discussions with major streaming services such as Amazon Prime or DAZN. Instead, it may be looking to roll out its own platform.
LaLiga is no stranger to the streaming world as it operates the LaLigaSportsTV OTT service which it launched in 2016.
LaLigaSportsTV does not show LaLiga games but offers extensive live coverage of the Liga ASOBAL, the top Spanish handball league, the LNFS, the national futsal league, and the LEB Oro, the second-tier basketball league, which have multi-year rights deals with the platform.
It is widely available in Spain via iOS and Android mobile apps as well as through agreements with Samsung, Orange, and Movistar. The platform can also be found via LG Smart TVs and Android TV, and at laligasportstv.com.
Outside of Spain, the league also operates its in-house LaLigaTV channel which it offers in various countries.