LaLiga launches rights tender, rethinks Saturday kick-off slots

LaLiga, which operates Spanish club football’s top competitions, has launched a tender process for domestic media rights across the three seasons spanning 2016-17 to 2018-19.

The tender includes rights to the top-tier Liga, along with the second tier Segunda División and Copa del Rey knockout competition.

The tender has been split into 10 packages with the deadline for bids having been set at 2pm Spanish time on December 2. A provisional allocation of rights is expected to be drawn up on the following day.

The tender document includes a revamp of kick-off times for the Liga. The main change will see the removal of the late kick-off slot for games at 10pm on Saturdays to make way for a new lunchtime position. A new free-to-air slot will also be created on Fridays at 8.30pm.

Saturday Liga games will be played at 1pm, 4pm, 6.15pm and 8.30pm. On Sundays, kick-offs will be at midday, 4pm, 6.15pm and 8.30pm, and on Mondays at 8.30pm. Copa del Rey fixtures will take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8pm and 10pm as well as, in exceptional circumstances, at 6pm.

LaLiga originally planned to tender domestic rights for three seasons, from 2015-16 to 2017-18, through its switch to embrace a collective sales process. In July, it agreed a one-season pay-television rights deal with Telefónica after Spain’s competition regulator, the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y La Competencia, expressed concerns that the telecommunications company’s club deals for 2015-16 would complicate the process.