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Orange-Vodafone land LaLiga rights package

A joint venture between telecommunications companies Orange and Vodafone has acquired a package of rights to domestic club football in Spain under a deal worth a minimum €300m ($318m).

LaLiga, the organising body of the top division of Spanish football, along with the Segunda Division and Copa del Rey knockout competition, said Orange and Vodafone have secured package eight in the tender process running across the 2016-17 to 2018-19 seasons.

Package eight relates to a dedicated channel for bars and other public places. LaLiga said the €300m deal will be increased by a variable amount up to €30m over the three seasons.

In other news, LaLiga said packages seven, nine and 10 will be commercialised directly by the organisation on a non-exclusive basis, in accordance with the provisions of the terms of the tender process.

LaLiga has also elected to convene a new round of bidding for free-to-air packages one, two, three and four among the candidates who have previously submitted bids for these packages.

LaLiga’s latest statement on Thursday came after pay-television broadcaster beIN Sports secured its main package of domestic rights on Wednesday, dislodging telecommunications company Telefónica as the main rights-holder for domestic club football in the country. DTS Distribuidora de Televisión Digital, which is operated by Telefónica, acquired a smaller package of rights.

Through Mediaproducción, beIN Sports acquired package six, which included eight LaLiga games per match day, with one of those matches featuring either Real Madrid or Barcelona. The package also included one ‘Clasico’ match between Real Madrid and Barcelona each season plus “pay-per-view” rights for the Copa del Rey knockout tournament, according to beIN Sports.

The deal is worth €1.9bn over three seasons, from 2016-17 to 2018-19, LaLiga said. Mediaproducción is a joint venture between beIN Sports and the Mediapro agency. Local law mandated that only a Spanish company could acquire the rights.

DTS snapped up package five for €750m over the same three-season period. LaLiga said that the reserve prices for both packages had been exceeded. Through the DTS deal, Telefónica subsidiary Movistar will have the first choice of one match per round of fixtures.