Facebook has signed an exclusive partnership with Spanish soccer league La Liga in India and will broadcast the games for free for its 270 million users in the country. La Liga is one of the most watched football leagues and is home to clubs including Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.
Facebook will steam all of the 380 matches of the league starting August 17. The matches will be live streamed on both the La Liga Facebook page and on individual club pages.
“As home to the two most-followed sports clubs on Facebook and some of the world’s most iconic footballers, LaLiga has a huge global presence on our platform,” said Peter Hutton, Facebook’s Head of Global Live Sports Programming.
Facebook has inked an exclusive three season deal with the Spanish football league and fans in India and the Indian subcontinent including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Pakistan will be able to watch their favourite stars such as Lionel Messi and Gareth Bale play every week.
Earlier Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) has the rights for La Liga games for three seasons and had paid around $18 million (approximately Rs 120 crore) to broadcast the matches. According to media reports, Facebook has closed the deal for $24 million.
“We are thrilled to team up with Facebook to bring the millions of La Liga fans in the Indian subcontinent even closer to the action. La Liga sets the standard for football in the world and we are delighted that more people than ever before will have the opportunity to watch our matches live and for free through Facebook in the region,” added Javier Tebas, President, La Liga.