LaLiga broadcast rights on the market in heavyweight European countries

Mediapro, the international sales agency of the Spanish LaLiga, is to issue an invitation to tender in the coming week covering broadcast rights in seven European countries from 2021-22 to 2025-26, SportBusiness understands.

The territories included in Mediapro and LaLiga’s final multi-territory tender in Europe for the new cycle are Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, France, Italy and Poland. Rights to all matches from the top two divisions of domestic Spanish football are included, as well as the second-tier promotion play-off matches.

The rights in these nations are currently held by OTT subscription platform DAZN (Austria and Germany, and Italy), subscription broadcaster Eleven Sports (Belgium and Poland), pay-television broadcaster Cosmote (Greece, through a sub-licensing deal with the Ogilvy agency), and pay-television broadcaster beIN Sports (France).

The rights auction follows on from the 16-nation European Economic Area invitation to tender issued in February that covered the five Nordic countries, the Balkan region, Czech Republic, Hungary, Portugal and Slovakia.

An invitation to tender was then issued in June in 11 more European territories, running for five seasons from 2021-22 to 2025-26.

Territories included in that ITT were: Albania, Cyprus, Estonia, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia and Switzerland (including Liechtenstein non-exclusively). A bid deadline of midday (CET) on July 9 was set and deals have since been agreed in the likes of the Netherlands and Russia.

In those tenders, successful bidders were required to broadcast a minimum of three top-tier matches and one second-tier match per matchweek alongside corresponding highlights and magazine programmes.

LaLiga has been steadily increasing revenues over recent cycles, which has yielded sizeable returns for its clubs, most recently seeing a total of €1.42bn ($1.53bn) in domestic and international revenues for its 20 participant clubs in the 2018-19 season.

LaLiga last month signed off on another rights deal in sub-Saharan Africa after securing a four-season extension with the African arm of French-language pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus. Canal Plus’ rights are not exclusive, as French-language rights will be shared with rival pay-television broadcaster StarTimes across sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar and Mauritius.

Both the Canal Plus and StarTimes deals run for four seasons between 2020-21 and 2023-24. LaLiga also agreed an English-language renewal with SuperSport, the sports arm of dominant sub-Saharan pay-television broadcaster Multichoice.