Subscription broadcaster Eleven Sports has retained broadcast rights in Portugal to Spain’s LaLiga until the end of the 2023-24 season after winning the rights for another three seasons.
The Aser Ventures-owned broadcaster has also acquired exclusive rights to the LaLiga Smartbank and will show over 100 matches per season from the Spanish second tier.
Working with the Mediapro agency, LaLiga initiated the sales process in Portugal in February as part of a 16-country invitation to tender.
A first-round bid deadline of midday (CET) on March was set. The inventory on offer excluded the rights for betting streaming, radio transmissions, commercial uses of statistics and graphics, and broadcast in public places.
A raft of Portuguese players ply their trade in Spain, including João Félix (Atlético Madrid), Francisco Trincão and Nelson Semedo (both Barcelona), William Carvalho (Real Betis), Hernani and Ruben Vezo (both Levante), plus Rui Silva and Domingos Duarte (both Granada).
Melcior Soler, LaLiga’s director of audiovisual, said: “Eleven Sports is a strategic partner for LaLiga in Europe and the renewal of our agreement with them in Portugal is a true reflection of this. We have three seasons ahead of us to continue growing together in Portugal and to offer the best live football to Portuguese fans.”
Jorge Pavão de Sousa, Eleven Sports Portugal’s managing director, added: “Over the past two seasons we have worked closely with LaLiga to develop a fantastic value proposition for Spanish football fans, and we want to continue to build on that now and deliver for fans in the years ahead. LaLiga is one of the most exciting competitions in the world and is a natural fit for our portfolio of premium rights here in Portugal, which also includes the Uefa Champions League and F1.”
Eleven Sports group chief executive Luis Vicente said last week that Eleven was now profitable in Portugal, two years on from its launch in a market in which it offers linear television and OTT channels.
LaLiga and Mediapro recently agreed a deal in the Netherlands with telco Ziggo, also from 2021-22 to 2023-24. SportBusiness also reported last month that Russia’s Telesport agency is close to renewing its rights in a five-season deal from 2021-22 onwards. Five-year contracts have also been struck in Norway, Sweden and Finland, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and the Balkan region.
As part of the 16-country ITT issued in February, successful bidders were required to broadcast a minimum of three live matches per first division match week and weekly broadcasts of LaLiga’s highlights and magazine shows. LaLiga also required that a minimum of one second-division match be broadcast per matchweek as well as its equivalent highlights show.
A subsequent sales process in 11 more European territories was issued in June.