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Facebook secures Champions League rights in Latin America

Facebook has secured exclusive free-to-air rights for certain UEFA Champions League live matches across Spanish-speaking territories in Latin America from 2018-2021.

The football deal grants Facebook the rights to broadcast 32 live matches each season, for three seasons, including the final and UEFA Super Cup. The partnership kicks off on Wednesday with the UEFA Super Cup.

The matches will be available on the UEFA Champions League Facebook Page, while Wednesday highlights and magazine programmes will also be shared each match-week on Facebook.

“We’re proud to be the exclusive free-to-air home for UEFA Champions League matches across Latin America for the next three years,” said Peter Hutton, Facebook’s head of global live sports programming.

“This world-renowned competition exemplifies how sports can connect communities, so we look forward to helping fans watch these live matches together and are committed to working closely with our great partners at UEFA to deliver an innovative viewing experience.”

UEFA Events’ director of marketing, Guy-Laurent Epstein, said: “We are delighted to welcome Facebook to the UEFA family of media partners.

“As the largest online social media platform globally, Facebook will ensure wide-ranging free-to-air coverage of the world’s most prestigious club competition. We look forward to the launch of this new partnership that will ensure the large community of local football fans is reached in a highly innovative and accessible manner.”

The news comes in the same week that Facebook secured rights to Spanish top-tier football for southern Asia, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives.

This three-season deal will see Facebook transmit live coverage of 380 La Liga matches free of charge to its users and will establish the social network as the official home of all the league’s matches in the region.

Facebook’s football deals are part of its broader push into sports. The social network appointed Hutton, Eurosport’s former CEO, earlier this year to help it secure live sports rights.

In March the company reached a deal with Major League Baseball (MLB) to exclusively stream one live weekday afternoon game per week in the US on its Facebook Watch platform. In July it signed a deal with boxing promoter Golden Boy Promotions to bring live boxing and other original programming to Facebook Watch.