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Facebook to stream free La Liga football in India

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Facebook has acquired the media rights of Spain’s top-division football championship, La Liga, for the Indian subcontinent.

La Liga will be the first European football league to be broadcast exclusively live on Facebook in the Indian subcontinent, and be available on Facebook in India, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The period of the deal is for three seasons and it begins with the 2018-19 campaign starting on August 17, Peter Hutton, Facebook Head of Global Live Sports Programming, said.

“La Liga has a very wide global audience and the league has two of the most supported clubs on our platform – Real Madrid and Barcelona. Fans can either go to La Liga page on Facebook and can view any of the matches or they can go on to the Facebook page of their favourite clubs to watch the match. No subscriptions are needed,” he said.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to expand La Liga’s fan base in India with free live streaming of football games. Apart from the live games, the fans will also have access to see other programmes like studio discussion, preview shows and highlights.”

Until now, the La Liga media rights for the Indian subcontinent were with Sony Pictures Networks India.

Alfredo Bermejo, Head, Digital Strategy, La Liga, said: “For us, India is one of our most important markets and Facebook is one of our most important and traditional partners in the digital world. We want to reach out to the biggest audience with the biggest platform possible.

“We wanted to improve our broadcasting strategy with technology – like production, new camera, new angles, new way of viewing football. Facebook shared our strategy. Facebook is the biggest platform with 270 million users, out of which 60 million are interested in football. So Facebook has the perfect features to help us what we want to.”

Facebook will also provide analysis of the matches by a pool of experts including former Real Madrid defender and four-time La Liga champion Michel Salgado, as well as former Barcelona and Atletico Madrid midfielder Luis Garcia.

Last week, Eleven Sports announced its plans to screen one match per week from La Liga and Serie A on its Facebook page in the UK and Ireland.



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