D-Smart picks up LaLiga in Turkey after Digiturk deal ended

LaLiga, the governing body of the Spain’s top-two footballing tiers, has signed a three-season deal with Turkish pay-television broadcaster D-Smart following the cancellation of its contract with Digiturk.

The deal includes the remainder of the 2019-20 season and will run until the end of the 2021-22 season.

It is understood that top-tier LaLiga matches will be exploited on SporSmart and SporSmart 2, DSmart’s sports channel, with one match per matchweek broadcast on a free-to-view basis via D-Smart’s YouTube channel.

Second-tier LaLiga Santander matches will be broadcast via D-SmartGo, D-Smart’s OTT platform.

Celta Vigo’s match at home against Real Valladolid on Friday night will be the first match broadcast with a further five games to be shown over the course of the weekend.

The deal was negotiated by Spanish production group and agency Mediapro, which distributes LaLiga rights globally.

LaLiga had been left without a broadcaster in Turkey since the beginning of this season after ending its deal with beIN-owned pay-television broadcaster Digiturk. The decision was understood to be mutual.

The broadcaster cited the sustained fluctuation of the Turkish lira in repeated interactions with customers on social media platform Twitter.

Sources in Turkey told SportBusiness Media that LaLiga continued to be a desirable property, but that lira’s recent performance made it an expensive asset.

One source said: “All parties in turkey are interested in LaLiga, but due to economic situation, no one is willing to commit any money. I’m not sure it will change in the short-term.”

Digiturk’s currency issues were also at the forefront of its renegotiated deal with the Turkish Football Federation earlier this year.