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DTC LaLiga distribution ‘is going to happen’, states president Tebas

Tebas (right) speaking at the launch of LaLigaTV in January 2020

Javier Tebas, the president of LaLiga, has said that the Spanish league is preparing a “change in strategy” for its next rights sale.

In comments made at the EFE Sport Business Days forum, the exec warned that the league will not “grow in double digits” in terms of its next rights cycle, but promised that the broadcast revenues would “equalise or grow.”

There has been a dramatic shift in broadcast rights valuations since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, with both Italy’s Serie A and Germany’s Bundesliga both seeing dips in their sales numbers.

Tebas acknowledged that there would be a shift in approach in the next “five, six years” towards a direct-to-consumer approach. The president cited the examples of Disney and DAZN as success stories of moving towards a purely DTC strategy that circumvents telcos and said that “the final customer model is going to happen”.

The organisation already operates a DTC offer in Spain – the free-to-view multi-sport LaLigaSportsTV – which Tebas said has 1.7 million registered users.