Facebook buys rights to show La Liga games in India

la liga

Facebook has bought the rights to show Spanish top-flight football in the Indian subcontinent in the latest move by a US technology company into sports rights.

The company has signed an exclusive agreement to show La Liga games featuring Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and other stars for the next three years. The deal will allow Facebook to show all 380 matches for the new season, which starts on Friday, to users in India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Facebook will show the games for free to its 348 million users in the region, including 270 million in India. The company did not disclose how much it was paying for the rights, which cost Sony Pictures Network $32m (£25m) last time they were for sale in 2014.

Facebook and other US technology companies have been buying up rights to popular sports for streaming services. Competition from cash-rich US tech companies is a threat to cable and satellite TV broadcasters, which have used sport as a way to attract and keep customers. Facebook pays about $1m a game to show 25 Major League Baseball games worldwide for no fee, supported by advertising. From next season in the UK, Amazon will bundle 20 English Premier League matches with its Prime subscription service. Sky and BT currently share the rights to show live games on TV.(theguardian)…[+]