Sports rights: LaLiga signs FTA deal with ITV; OneFootball bags Serie A for UK and Ireland

Regular season live club football has returned to ITV for the first time since 2015, with the broadcaster agreeing a rights deal to Spanish top-flight league LaLiga.

The pubcaster has announced a sublicencing deal with Premier Sports to broadcast 10 matches for the next three seasons. ITV said that either FC Barcelona, Real Madrid or Atlético Madrid will appear in ITV games. 

The first match of the season to be shown was Barcelona’s 0-0 draw at home to Rayo Vallecano, which was broadcast on ITV4 and streamed on the ITV Hub on August 21.

Premier Sports, which last month was acquired by Viaplay, operates the LaLigaTV pay-tv channel which broadcasts each of the 10 fixtures staged every LaLiga match day. The sportscaster will hope that the increased exposure to Spanish football will drive subscriptions to the £7.99 per month channel, while the main Premier Sports channel shows more than 300 matches per season for £9.99 per month.

Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport, said: “This deal ensures free to air coverage for all football fans of one of the most entertaining leagues in the world. The deal with Premier Sports will give fans the chance to see some of the most iconic clubs and world-class players in action, live on ITV.” 

Live club football returned to ITV in 2021 when it regained the rights to the English season-opening FA Community Shield. It previously was a mainstay of UK football broadcasting as co-rights holder of the UEFA Champions League prior to BT Sport’s purchase of the rights in 2015.

This is the latest rights deal for LaLiga, which earlier this month became the first European league to launch a DTC streaming service in China.

Serie A streamed on OneFootball

Mobile app OneFootball has agreed a deal to show Italy’s Serie A in the UK and Ireland.

The deal, agreed by Serie A’s media rights partner Infront, will see OneFootball stream 38 matches per season from the league. The majority of the matches will be shown from the Saturday evening slot, while there will be a number of midweek matches shown. 

OneFootball already served as the home of highlights of all 380 Serie A matches.

The first match broadcast as a part of this deal saw newly-promoted Serie B champions Lecce host Inter Milan in a dramatic 1-2 victory for the Nerazzurri.

The deal serves to complement Serie A’s existing main rights agreement in the UK and Ireland with BT Sport. 

Nikolaus von Doetinchem, vice president of OTT streaming and media rights at OneFootball, said: “At OneFootball, we love Italian soccer, and are equally passionate about bringing fans around the world closer to the clubs and leagues they love. This deal with Serie A is the latest in our growing portfolio of distribution deals and indicative of our mission to bring our young, mobile-first user base closer to the action.

“We know that Italy’s Serie A is renowned and much loved by fans across the globe. We can’t wait to bring fans in the UK and Ireland the highs and lows of this iconic league week in, week out.”

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