Spain’s Premier football division, LaLiga is set to finally launch its domestic media rights tender next week after the decision was approved internally by its board.
The media rights offered are set to be for a period of three, four or five years from the 2022-23 season onwards. The league plans to offer lengthier four or five years contracts, including the split packages for the first time to stimulate potential bidders and promote the growth of the OTT sector.
The Comision Nacional de Los Mercados y la Cpmetencia (CNMC), which acts as Spanish broadcast watchdog, recently analysed the proposals made by the LaLiga for commercializing the next cycle of rights. After consideration and recommendations, CNMC suggested the possibility of submitting offers for a term of four to five years should be eliminated.
The league have acknowledged the recommendations by CNMC but are expected to stick to their new approach as they believe lengthier media rights deals will provide greater access to fans at a more favourable price.
At present, the Spanish telco Telefonica and Mediapro agency hold the domestic media rights for LaLiga from the 2019-20 to 2021-22 season. Telefonica holds the bulk of the rights worth $3.42bn while Mediapro is paying around €480m for its rights over the same period. The fans in Spain can follow LaLiga football through subscriptions with Telefonica or fellow telecom operator Orange.
Orange, however, has made it clear that they would not bid for the domestic rights to LaLiga to avoid price inflation. Orange Spain will instead deal directly with the successful bidders to offer LaLiga via carriage deal.
Javier Tebas, President of LaLiga said: “In Spain, there are more than four million pay-TV users but even though they’re paying still cannot watch the football. And there are 12m to 13m OTT users that even when they can pay cannot watch the football. It can’t keep going like this. They can pay as much as they like but our fans and subscribers would be diminishing.”