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Facebook buys La Liga broadcast rights for Indian subcontinent

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. This will be Facebook’s second broadcast deal following the first one made last year to broadcast weekly Major League Baseball games in the US. The broadcast rights of La Liga’s previous matches were held by Sony, which, according to the report, paid a reported $32 million to broadcast between 2014 and 2018. This is also Facebook’s first sports streaming deal in India, after a failed $600 million bid last year for Indian Premier League streaming rights.

La Liga is the men’s professional football division in the Spanish football league. Facebook will live broadcast all 380 league games starting this Friday, when the new season begins, with analysis, weekly preview shows and highlights. The matches will be available on the official La Liga Facebook page and individual club Pages.

No ads to start with

The social media company said that La Liga had a huge presence on its platform (~45 million likes and followers), and is popular in the Indian subcontinent. The move would help La Liga reach new audiences and grow its visibility, according to Peter Hutton, Facebook’s Head of Global Live Sports Programming. In November last year, Sony Pictures Networks India’s sports distribution head Rajesh Kaul said that La Liga’s viewership in India had grown over four-fold to 40 million viewers.

Facebook will stream the tournament without ads to start with, but may include ads later. 

Facebook’s revenues ever expanding

Facebook posted total revenues of $12 billion for the March quarter (Q1FY18), up 49% year-on-year (YoY) from $8 billion in Q1 2017. Advertising revenue contributed 98.6% or $11.80 billion of total revenues, while payments and other fees contributed $171 million. Mobile advertising revenue stood at $10.7 billion, up 60% from last year, and contributed approximately 91% of total ad revenue, up from approximately 85% of advertising revenue in the first quarter of 2017.

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