Monday 23 July 2018

Sky Sports has lost the rights to show La Liga games in the UK and Ireland to provider run by Leeds owners

Barcelona were crowned La Liga champions last weekend
Barcelona were crowned La Liga champions last weekend

Phil Blanche

Sky has lost the broadcasting rights to show LaLiga matches in the UK and Ireland.

Global sports provider ELEVEN SPORTS, has secured exclusive rights to all matches from Spain's top division from the start of the 2018-19 season.

The deal will run for three years until the end of the 2020-21 season.

"We are proud to build on our existing relationship with LaLiga, this time in the UK, one of the most passionate football countries in the world where Spanish football has significant appeal." said Marc Watson, executive chairman and group chief executive officer of ELEVEN SPORTS.

"This is an incredibly exciting time for our young and dynamic company and we will announce soon how we will introduce innovative ways for dedicated fans to watch and engage in the live action.

"The way people, especially young people, watch live sport is changing and we always try to reflect that in the ways we make our product available.

"We are excited about the opportunities we have to do this in the UK and Ireland."

ELEVEN SPORTS, which is owned by Leeds' Italian owner Andrea Radrizzani, has not previously been active in the UK market.

But it has achieved rapid success throughout Europe, Asia and north America, and already holds LaLiga rights in Belgium and Poland.

ELEVEN SPORTS will announce details in the coming weeks about how it will distribute LaLiga action to fans.

In other markets this has been achieved via various methods, be it television, online or through an app.

Coverage of Spanish football has proved popular on Sky, with the current three-year deal broadcasting eight matches each weekend, both live and as-live.

As well as global giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, LaLiga boasts some of the world's top players in Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann.

LaLiga president Javier Tebas said: "ELEVEN SPORTS are an excellent partner for us in various markets across Europe and we are delighted to have the opportunity to work with them in the UK and Ireland - important markets for us in which LaLiga is very popular.

"We have worked very hard to promote the excellence of LaLiga in the UK and Ireland and we are confident that ELEVEN SPORTS will help us to grow and innovate our brand in the market for years to come."

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