Facebook has confirmed it acquisition of La Liga rights in the Indian subcontinent, revealing plans to stream all 380 games this season free of charge.
The move is further evidence of Facebook’s ambitions in the live sports space, adding to reports of the social media giant’s first Premier League rights.
The new, three-year agreement covers territories including India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Facebook takes over the rights in the region from Sony Pictures Network, which had valued them at US$32 million in 2014, according to a Reuters report.
Confirming the deal exclusively to Reuters, Peter Hutton, Facebook’s recently appointed head of global live sports programming, was eager to emphasise a cautious approach.
He said: “This is one deal, it’s not something that is a big threat to the broadcast world. We have rights to work with broadcasters and we may bring in partners to make sure the experience is right.
“We’re looking at specific rights in specific markets and to try to learn from data from those experiences and work out what the next step is. If you rush into too many deals at once, you can’t do it properly.
Last year, Facebook announced its arrival as a serious player in live sports, bidding US$600 million for Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket.
More recently the brand made headlines by signing a partnership with broadcast challenger Eleven Sports, which will see a selection of La Liga and Serie A games streamed on Facebook in the UK throughout the 2018-19 season.