ESPN signs record 8-year broadcast deal with La Liga

US broadcast firm ESPN has won the race for the rights of La Liga for the next eight seasons. The contract between the two parties will come into effect from the 2021/22 season. According to AFP, the deal is worth $1.4 billion or $175 million per year, making it the biggest deal for a US broadcast firm for an overseas football league.

ESPN confirmed the agreement with La Liga in a statement on Thursday. As per this deal, ESPN will be broadcasting all 380 La Liga games every year on their streaming platform ESPN+. Meanwhile, few games will also be shown on ESPN’s traditional networks. ESPN will also get the rights for the second division in Spain as part of this deal. The broadcast firm also acquired rights for Canada as games will be telecasted on TSN and RDS networks.

This deal will beat the record set by NBC in 2016 when they acquired rights for Premier League (PL) in a deal worth $1 billion. Since NBC’s deal with Premier League comes to an end next season, ESPN’s record is likely to be broken since PL is a much more attractive league for the broadcasters.

Spanish football has been struggling to compete with the riches of English football, so the deal with ESPN is a huge coup for them. USA has been a big market for Spanish football as big clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona often go to the country for pre-season tours. La Liga will be looking to further tap into the market after signing this deal with ESPN.

Meanwhile, Premier League has extended deals for three years with BT Sports, Amazon, and Sky Sports for domestic broadcast rights. The most lucrative league in the world has agreed to a package worth $5 billion deal with all three broadcasters until the end of 2024/25. It will be intriguing to see whether PL will look to make similar arrangements with overseas partners or look for improved deals.

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