Telesport closing in on LaLiga rights renewal in Russia

Russian agency Telesport is close to finalising a renewal of its broadcast rights to Spain’s LaLiga in a five-season deal from 2021-22 onwards, SportBusiness understands.

It is thought that the exclusive platform-neutral rights have been awarded by the Barcelona-based Mediapro agency, although the agreement is yet to be signed.

Mediapro launched an invitation to tender in the country in June, with a bid deadline of midday (CET) on July 9 set.

Telesport currently holds LaLiga rights in a four-season deal with Mediapro, from 2017-18 to 2020-21. It broadcasts matches on its Sila TV streaming service and also sublicenses linear rights to state-backed sports broadcaster Match TV.

LaLiga was without coverage in Russia in the 2016-17 season.

As per the latest tender requirements, Telesport will have to broadcast a minimum of three full-length matches per first division match-week (of which two must be live), weekly broadcasts of LaLiga’s highlights and magazine shows. All LaLiga Santander matches are required to be transmitted live digitally, via a designated website or OTT platform.

LaLiga also requires that a minimum of one second-tier LaLiga Smartbank match be broadcast per match week as well as its equivalent highlights show. For the play-off matches, a minimum of three out of six matches must be shown in full length.

The expected agreement in Russia would represent the latest in a string of deals Mediapro has struck across Europe this year, including five-year deals – also from 2021-22 to 2025-26 –in NorwaySweden and Finland, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and the Balkan region.

The governing body was given authorisation to sell future broadcast rights in Europe for more than three seasons in amends made to the Royal Decree that governs the sale of centralised rights.