Sony Pictures Network have allowed one of the precious football broadcast properties – La Liga – to slip out of its sports portfolio. Facebook, on a big sports acquisition spree, has bagged the LaLiga rights for the India sub-continent for the next four-year cycle.
SPN had acquired the broadcast rights for the Spanish First Division football league in a $32 million deal four years ago. The deal inked in 2014 ran till May 2018. Sony it is learnt did not renew the deal as it found no business sense in paying beyond a point. While sources in SPN have confirmed that they did not renew the LaLiga deal as the required investment for renewal of the rights made little business sense for them.
Insidesport.co has reliably learnt it was yet another aggressive pitch by Facebook that made SPN to let the LaLiga rights slip out of its rich sports content basket. Facebook has not made an official announcement yet about the LaLiga acquisition.
The social media platform had given first hints of its aggressive entry into sports broadcast business with a ₹3,900 crore, albeit unsuccessful, bid for the Indian Premier League digital rights last year. Ever since, it has been on a major acquisition and hiring spree – getting two sports broadcast legends Peter Hutton and Joyee Biswas on board.
Eurosport’s former chief executive Peter Hutton heads Facebook’s global live sports programming division, with a brief to increase the platform’s sports offering. while former of Eleven Sports MD in Asia, Biswas is in charge to boost Facebook’s sports and entertainment portfolio in the Asian market.
Facebook also recently has acquired another precious football property, the English Premier League for the South East Asian territories, while the digital platform is reportedly engaged in talks with football icon Cristiano Ronaldo for an exclusive reality show worth $10 million (₹ 70 crores approximately).