BeIN Sports snatches top-tier Spanish football from Telefónica

Nasser Al Khelaifi

Nasser Al Khelaifi

Catalan broadcaster Mediapro has snatched key Spanish top-tier football rights for the recently launched BeIN Sports service from pay TV market leader Telefónica’s Movistar TV.

In the latest round of bidding for rights to the matches for the next three years, Mediapro has secured the exclusive rights to air eight La Liga first division games each match day on its BeIN Sports service, leaving Telefónica’s Movistar TV service with first choice rights one first division match and one second division match.

The result represents a coup for Mediapro, which will be able to air eight matches on each day including one involving either Real Madrid or FC Barcelona, as well as one ‘Clasico’ between the pair each season. It has also secured corresponding pay-per-view rights to the Copa del Rey.

Mediapro secured La Liga’s Lot 6 for €1.9 billion, while Telefónica’s DTS paid €750 million for the more limited Lot 5. Telefónica does however secure first choice, meaning it can claim most of the matches featuring either of the top two teams.

The remaining eight lots awarded by La Liga remain in play.

The deal is the latest victory for Mediapro and BeIN Sports in a fractious battle with Telefónica over sports rights. Mediapro previously secured rights to European Champions League football, and struck distribution deals with Vodafone, Orange and Telecable, but not with Telefónica, the country’s largest pay TV operator.

“We entered the Spanish market a few months ago with the commitment to build the best and most comprehensive sports offering in Spain. We have delivered on that commitment by investing significantly in the UEFA Champions league and by further adding other major European leagues,” said Nasser Al Khelaifi, chairman and CEO of beIN Media Group.

“Today, along with Mediapro we are proud to announce the addition of La Liga  to our line up, which represents for many, the very best league and teams in the world. beIN Sports is now the home of La Liga in Spain. We believe in the growth of the Spanish broadcast, media and Pay TV markets and we will continue offer our subscribers the very best sport and world class production”.

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