Facebook won a major content deal to broadcast Spain’s top national football competition across the Indian subcontinent for free, giving the social media giant a big boost in reach across the region.
The deal will see Facebook provide a free-to-air stream to La Liga content, Spain’s top-tier football league, over the next three seasons in India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal and the Maldives.
Sony had previously held live screening rights for La Liga, paying a reported $32 million between 2014 and 2018. Details of Facebook’s deal have not been announced, but the agreement notably gives the company a bigger presence in the subcontinent and, particularly, in India where it has around 270 million users Financial Times (FT) stated.
Counterpoint Research analyst Neil Shah told FT a huge drop in mobile data prices in India, instigated by the entry of Reliance Jio in 2016, enabled millions of people in the country to watch sport and other live broadcasts on mobile devices.
“The biggest aim for Facebook is for people to spend more time on it, to get a bigger share of users’ digital life,” he added. “So whatever they can offer in terms of content to create stickiness, that is useful.”
Facebook will show all 380 La Liga matches a season, initially without advertising, but that could change in the future.
The company attempted to boost its content offering in recent years and successfully won rights to screen Major League Baseball in the US, as well as reaching a deal to show some La Liga and Serie A football matches in the UK.
This year, Amazon also won the rights to screen 60 English Premier League games over three years on its platform, as technology groups take the fight to traditional TV and cable players.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back