Orange and Telefónica agree new deal for LaLiga and Champions League content

Orange has agreed a new content deal with fellow telco Telefónica to offer coverage from LaLiga, the Uefa Champions League and Europa League during the 2020-21 season.

Telefónica holds premium rights packages to the Spanish top flight and Uefa club competitions but is mandated to share 50 per cent of its premium content to other telecoms operators and over-the-top streaming services. This includes the Movistar Plus sports channels on which La Liga, the Champions League and Europa League are broadcast.

Orange will be able to continue to access the Movistar LaLiga and Movistar Liga de Campeones channels and market them through its own pay-TV platforms. Orange is available across a range of platforms in Spain with pay-television (Orange TV), online and apps available for Smart TVs and mobile devices.

The new deal is worth around €300m ($336.8m), according to Expansión, the Spanish business newspaper. The figure paid is determined by a fixed amount per subscriber of the licensee.

Commercial broadcaster Mediaset also currently holds the equivalent rights for its Spanish OTT platform Mitele Plus. The deal was agreed in July 2019 to cover the 2019-20 season but Mediaset has not renewed its agreement.

Telefónica currently holds the rights to the Uefa Champions and Europa Leagues in the current cycle which ends after the coming season. The telco has renewed the rights through the 2021-24 cycle with an expanded inventory that includes the newly-created third-tier Europa Conference League.

The 50-per-cent content law was created after Telefónica’s 2015 merger with the Spanish arm of French pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus. There were fears that the telco’s size would negatively impact competition in the country were its position to go unchecked.

There is no minimum number of rivals to whom Telefónica is required to sublicence rights so long as a deal is reached with one other party.