Eleven Sports ‘part of discussions’ as LaLiga tenders UK TV rights

11 July 2019 | Broadcasting & New Media
Eleven Sports ‘part of discussions’ as LaLiga tenders UK TV rights
Eleven Sports has confirmed it remains in talks with LaLiga with regards to retaining its UK rights to Spanish soccer’s top-flight.

The organising body for Spanish soccer’s top flight has issued an invitation to tender for the league’s broadcast rights in the UK and Ireland for the next three seasons, facilitated by the Spanish rights agency Mediapro.

Interested parties will be able to make individual or combined bids for six audio-visual packages, including exclusive and non-exclusive rights to pay-TV, free-to-air (FTA) and over-the-top (OTT) programming.

LaLiga’s decision to re-tender its rights in the region was anticipated after Eleven Sports was forced to renegotiate an exclusive three-season deal amid operational difficulties in the UK.

Danny Menken, Eleven’s Managing Director, told SportsPro in April that the platform intended to continue its LaLiga partnership in the UK and Ireland beyond the 2018/19 season and the broadcaster has re-affirmed that position following the latest update, also stating that the re-sale of LaLiga’s rights in the region was ‘always part of the process’.

LaLiga has also confirmed that its tender does not mean that it is officially ending existing partnership, stating that all offers will be considered.

Eleven ousted UK pay-TV broadcaster Sky last summer to become LaLiga's media partner in the UK and Ireland until the end of the 2020/21 season.

However, the media company’s UK operation fell into difficulties primarily due to its failure to secure a linear distribution partner for a prospective rights deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

The company has since relinquished a number of its contracts, including Serie A soccer, though managed to retain LaLiga rights until the end of last season on a non-exclusive basis, shared with pay-TV network Premier Sports and the UK commercial broadcaster, ITV.

For the new tender, bids will be accepted up until a deadline of 25th July, while a cut-off date of 17th July has been implemented for any enquiries about the process.

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