Facebook to broadcast La Liga games for free

FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi reacts after scoring during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona Spain Soccer La Liga Barcelona Spain- 04 Mar 2018

FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi reacts after scoring during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona Spain Soccer La Liga Barcelona Spain- 04 Mar 2018

This is also Facebook's first sports streaming deal in India, after a failed $600 million bid past year for Indian Premier League streaming rights.

Facebook has acquired exclusive rights to stream the next 3 seasons of La Liga's matches on Facebook in the Indian subcontinent (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Pakistan), reports Reuters.

It will live stream the matches for the next three seasons, starting 2018-19.

In June La Liga announced it had renewed its contract for five seasons, between 2019-24, for the global broadcast rights for the Spanish championship for around €4.48 billion euros - or about €896 million per season - a 30 per cent increase over the previous agreement. Fans can either go to La Liga page on Facebook and can view any of the matches or they can go on to the Facebook page of their favourite clubs to watch the match. Facebook is the biggest platform with 270 million users, out of which 60 million are interested in football.

Facebook began venturing into sports streaming in 2017 by broadcasting weekly Major League Baseball games and earlier this month agreed a deal with broadcaster Eleven Sports to show one La Liga and one Serie A game per week on its platform.

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Peter Hutton, Facebook head of global live sports programming said: "As home to the two most-followed sports clubs on Facebook and some of the world's most iconic footballers, LaLiga has a huge global presence on our platform".

The financial value of the deal was not disclosed.

Facebook and La Liga did not announce the price of their deal. Star India won consolidated rights for $2.55 billion.

La Liga President Javier Tebas added, "We are thrilled to team up with Facebook to bring the millions of La Liga fans in the Indian subcontinent even closer to the action".

"This is the first step for us, we're excited to see it and we want make it as successful as possible so we can unlock other territories around the world".

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