Major football matches will, for the time being, still be broadcast exclusively on pay TV channels but users can watch a selection of other matches from LaLiga Primera and Segunda División as well as other sports. The streaming service will be free, reports Spanish newspaper Expansión.
Going direct to fans
The news was shared by the Javier Tebas, President of LaLiga, in an interview last week. He said that it will be a multi-sports standalone streaming service that will be free to use.
- “LaLiga will launch its own multi-sports internet TV platform in August,” Javier Tebas told Expansión.
However, do not expect the major matches involving FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and other top contenders to be available on the streaming service – at least not “in the short term”. Exclusive rights to these matches are expected to bring in 2.3 billion Euro annually when sold to other broadcasters.
“Netflix of sports”
At launch, the streaming service will offer matches that are not available to watch on broadcast TV. This includes live football, interviews, and on-demand content from Primera, Segunda and Segunda B División as well as hockey, swimming, golf, gymnastics, and more.
- "In addition to our own content, we will broadcast other sports whenever they have sufficient quality,” Tebas added. “[The plan is] to find ways to give visibility to those sports that are cannot be shown on mainstream channels because there are not enough broadcast hours available.”
In order to make it appealing to users, the streaming service will be free to use. However, it will require registration as LaLiga aims to collect user data in order to learn more about its audience.
- "But it should not be ruled out [in the] medium or long term," Tebas said, referring to having major Primera División matches on the streaming platform. "That will be determined by the market."
Tebas commented that going direct to viewers and fans is a growing trend. Netflix and HBO are already doing it. He even referred to his new standalone streaming service as the “Netflix of sports”. The Formula 1 league is also planning to launch a standalone streaming service this year.
The free LaLiga streaming service will launch in August 2018.