Spain's La Liga is hoping that their deal with ESPN finally puts them on the same footing in the United States as their English and German soccer counterparts.
ESPN will take over English- and Spanish-language rights to La Liga when next season begins in August as part of an eight-year agreement announced on Thursday. La Liga, which features Barcelona and Lionel Messi, has been televised by BeIN Sport since the 2012-13 season.
La Liga established a North American office in 2018 in a joint venture with Relevent Sports and has been trying to gain more of a foothold in America. But being on a network with a limited reach has been a hindrance.
“The U.S. is the most important market for the league outside of Spain. It has been a priority for La Liga to get our product closer to our fans here," La Liga North America CEO Boris Gartner said. “It was clear to get to that next step we needed to find another partner. And honestly, when we started thinking about this, we always knew that we wanted to be in this project with ESPN.”
BeIN was in the first season of a four-year deal before La Liga bought back the final three seasons. ESPN executive vice president of programming Burke Magnus said he wasn't expecting rights to be available until he was approached by La Liga.
“It helps us both achieve our objectives,” he said. “For us, it's exclusive, comprehensive and long term.”
BeIN Sports has limited distribution in the U.S. with fewer than 15 million subscribers, narrowing the visibility of Messi, Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid. ESPN announced on Thursday that there are 13.8 million subscribers to the ESPN+ streaming service, which just had its third anniversary.
ESPN+ has experienced steady growth through the acquisition of soccer rights, including Germany’s Bundesliga, England’s FA Cup, League Cup and second-tier League Championship, and Spain’s Copa del Rey.
Read Full Story .... Yahoo >>> :
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|