Movistar Plus, the Spanish pay-television operator owned by telecoms giant Telefónica, has acquired domestic rights to the World Padel Tour (WPT), the international series for the tennis-like racket sport, for the next two seasons, it has been reported.
The agreement will include the upcoming 2022 season and the 2023 campaign, with Movistar’s coverage to begin with the Miami Open, according to AS.
The deal means the WPT will move to pay-TV for the first time after traditionally being free-to-air in Spain.
The series had previously been shown on Gol, the digital terrestrial network owned by Spanish production firm Mediapro.
In addition to Movistar, some live WPT matches can be viewed for free on the competition’s WPT TV streaming service, which was launched late last year in collaboration with LaLiga Tech, the technology arm of the top Spanish soccer league.
WPT also recently appointed Mediapro to sell its international broadcast rights.
The Miami Open will be the first event in an expanded calendar for the WPT circuit this year as the competition returns to the US for just its second event in the country.
A total of 24 tests will be held in 13 countries, with Belgium a new location on the schedule.
The 2022 season will conclude in Barcelona in December.
WPT is set to face competition this year after the International Padel Federation (FIP), the sport’s global governing body, announced the launch of a rival padel tour in partnership with Qatar Sports Investments, a unit of the country’s government that owns French soccer giants Paris Saint-Germain.
The FIP will soon unveil a new global calendar of international and national competitions for the new padel circuit. Up to 10 tournaments will be scheduled for each of 2022 and 2023 with the first major event to be held in March.