LaLiga, the organising body of the top two divisions of Spanish club football, has reported revenue rises of 15 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively, for the sale of domestic and international rights packages to telco Telefónica and the Mediapro agency.
Following a tender process that launched in Spain and Andorra last month for rights to LaLiga and the second-tier Segunda División, LaLiga on Monday evening announced the partial sale of eight packages for the three seasons spanning 2019-20 to 2021-22.
While offers for the eight domestic packages failed to reach their reserve prices, LaLiga said it decided to provisionally award four lots, pending the signing of formal contracts. LaLiga said the total amount generated for these four lots was €3.421bn ($4.04bn), or an average of €1.140bn per season, which equates to a 15-per-cent increase on the four equivalent lots for the previous three-season period.
Telefónica said it will spend €980m per season, or €2.94bn in total, to secure all LaLiga matches for the residential pay-television market. Telefónica said the contract represents a “slight deflation” in value when compared to the last season of the previous cycle.
Telefónica has acquired lots four and five. Lot four is composed of one match on every LaLiga matchday for free-to-air or pay-television on an exclusive basis with first choice. The package also includes the six matches of the playoffs for promotion to LaLiga on a non-exclusive basis, as well as non-exclusive highlights of all LaLiga and Segunda División matches.
Lot five consists of LaLiga TV Channel or equivalent content. This comprises eight matches from each LaLiga matchday for pay-television on an exclusive basis, with third choice. The six matches of the playoffs for promotion to LaLiga, for pay-television on a non-exclusive basis, and non-exclusive highlights of all first and second-tier matches.
In recent months, Telefónica has criticised the rising cost of sports-rights. The company said in a statement: “The direct award to Telefónica of these rights for the new cycle gives the operator the power to decide, design and develop the content, which will carry the Movistar label as of the 2019-2020 season.
“The net cost of the rights implies an even higher deflation of more than five per cent. Other operators will share in the savings and the concrete impact on each one will depend on the number of them that rent the channels that Movistar will put on sale.
“Telefónica has always defended that the LaLiga matches are a very attractive content, but that its acquisition had to be carried out at the appropriate price. The offer made by the company meets these parameters.”
Telefónica's rights exclude the Copa del Rey tournament and the second tier. Comparable packages sold last time included these rights. LaLiga hopes to conclude the sale of these rights in the coming months.
Mediapro has acquired domestic packages two and seven. Lot two is for free-to-air and exclusive highlights of the competitions. Lot seven comprises exclusive rights to all LaLiga and Segunda División matches for broadcasts solely in public establishments. Mediapro has also secured non-exclusive pay-television rights to LaLiga playoff matches, as well as non-exclusive highlights of all LaLiga and Segunda División matches.
LaLiga added that it is confident that the remaining four packages to be sold will be awarded in the coming months as it disclosed that a meeting on Thursday saw it extends its partnership with Mediapro for the sale of international rights.
The new five-season deal, spanning 2019-20 to 2023-24, will guarantee LaLiga €4.485bn in revenue, a figure which the organisation claims is 30 per cent more than in the previous three-season period.
Commenting on the deals, LaLiga president Javier Tebas said: “(I am) satisfied because this outcome is positive for all those who directly or indirectly form part of the Spanish football industry. The clubs, successful broadcasters, sponsors and, in particular, football fans all come out as winners in this tender.”