More Spanish league rights for Telefónica and Mediapro but FTA packages unsold
By Simon Ward
Telefónica, the Spanish telecoms giant, has added to its wealth of domestic soccer content in the 2019-20 season onwards by landing exclusive live pay-television rights to all second-tier Segunda División matches in a three-year deal.
Meanwhile, Mediapro, the sports rights agency and production company, has complemented its lesser offering by retaining exclusive internet rights to clips of top-tier LaLiga and second division matches in the same period.
Revealing the awards on Friday evening, LaLiga said that neither lot achieved the reserve price, but that it had decided to make a provisional allocation “subject to the relevant agreements being finalised.” Financial details have not been disclosed.
Two packages of live free-to-air rights to matches in the top two divisions have still be allocated after the bids received fell far short of the asking prices, meaning that the domestic sales process will drag on into 2019.
Telefónica, whose Movistar Plus service already carries the existing LaLiga 1|2|3 TV channel offering live coverage of 10 of the 11 second division matches in each round, has won lot 6, comprising the equivalent channel, with all 11 games, from 2019-20 to 2021-22.
The package also includes non-exclusive pay-TV rights to the six promotion play-off matches and non-exclusive highlights of all Segunda División matches.
Telefónica prevailed despite reports that there could be interest in the second flight from DAZN, the over-the-top subscription service that is launching in Spain in 2019, with rights to England's Premier League, MotoGP and basketball’s EuroLeague.
Telefónica has already claimed the lion’s share of Spanish league rights by acquiring lots 4 and 5, which include the first-choice live match from LaLiga each week, and eight other live matches from each round, via a LaLiga TV channel or equivalent, in deals worth €2.94 billion ($3.35 billion) over three years.
Deals have still to be reached for this content to be made available to rival telecoms companies such as Orange, Vodafone and Jazztel, as, under Spanish competition rules, Telefónica is obliged to offer its premium TV channels to other operators.
Lot 8 acquired by Mediapro includes 90-second clips or mini-summaries of all LaLiga and Segunda División matches each week.
Mediapro, which controls the majority of residential live rights to the top flight at present, already bought lot 2, comprising free-to-air highlights of both divisions, and lot 7, including live coverage of all games in public establishments, for a sum of €480 million over three years.
It also retained international rights to LaLiga for a further five years, to the end of the 2023-24 season, for nearly €4.5 billion.
The two packages awarded on Friday were among four that went unsold in the initial auction concluded in June (in bold in table below), and lot 1, which includes one exclusive free-to-air live match from LaLiga in each round, and Lot 3, comprising two exclusive free-to-air live matches from the Segunda División in each round, have yet to be sold.
LaLiga said: “The remaining lots… have not been allocated, given that none of the offers submitted came close to the reserve price.”
Gol, Mediapro’s digital terrestrial TV channel, presently shows one free-to-air live match per round from LaLiga (not involving Barcelona or Real Madrid or other clubs involved in European competition) and two per round from the Segunda División in its deal expiring at the end of this season.
|Lots in Spanish invitation to tender for LaLiga domestic rights 2019-20 to 2021-22|
|1||One match from each round of the first division, free-to-air and exclusive, second pick||TBA|
|2||Highlights of all competitions, free-to-air and exclusive||Mediapro|
|3||Two matches from each round of the second division, free-to-air and exclusive||TBA|
One match on every first division matchday, free-to-air or paid, exclusive, first pick; The six promotion play-off matches, free-to-air or paid and non-exclusive; Highlights of all first division and second division matches; Highlights of all first and second division matches, non-exclusive
LaLiga TV channel or its equivalent content: Eight matches from each first division matchday, paid and exclusive, third pick; The six promotion play-off matches, paid and non-exclusive; Highlights of all first and second division matches, non-exclusive
LaLiga Segunda channel or its equivalent content: 11 matches from each second division matchday, exclusive; The six promotion play-off matches, paid and non-exclusive; Highlights of all second division matches, non-exclusive
LaLiga TV channel or its equivalent content: All first and second division matches, paid and for broadcast solely in public establishments (non-residential customers), exclusive; The six promotion play-off matches, paid and non-exclusive; Highlights of all first and second division matches, non-exclusive
|8||90-second clips or mini-summaries of all first and second division matches, exclusive for dissemination via the internet||Mediapro|