RFEF goes into battle with La Liga with its own OTT platform offer

By Paul Nicholson

April 16 – The animosity between the Spanish FA (RFEF) and LaLiga has found a new broadcast battleground to play out.

RFEF president Luis Rubiales (pictured) has unveiled a collaboration with the Spanish Olympic Committee (SOC) to launch an OTT streaming platform that will compete directly with LaLiga’s recently announced LaLigaSportsTV.

Like LaLiga’s platform, the RFEF/SOC service aims to be a multi-sports broadcast window for lower league football and other sports and leagues in Spain that do not have major TV rights deals.

The new platform, that could be up within a year, aims to broadcast on-demand re-runs of matches and competitions including La Liga’s Segunda Division, as well as live sports. The service would be available in Spain on a monthly or annual subscription.

Speaking at the World Soccer Congress in Barcelona, Rubiales said that their OTT format is one that “all the federations want, no matter how small”. At the centre of their proposal for other sports is the opportunity to invest in their own content production and earn revenue from subscription income.

Directly critical of LaLiga’s proposal and profit motives, Rubiales said: “La Liga does not receive more money as a result of a magnificent management, but as a result of a regulatory change that has given it an exclusive position. Now it wants to do business through other sports and that is a tremendous invasion.

“The competitions to broadcast the cycling, canoeing, etc., are organised by the federations, and they can leave it in the hands of another which, in our humble opinion, is an abuse that is outside their competence, or do it in their own way. Everyone will have the possibility (to join our platform).”

Last November the RFEF signed an agreement with streaming platform Footters for coverage of the Segunda División B and Tercera División, the third and fourth tiers of the domestic game. It is unclear where this deal sits with the new OTT platform announcement.

LaLiga said its OTT streaming service will offer live LaLiga 1|2|3 content, as well as other Spanish sports, and is “designed by LaLiga, will boost the visibility and exposure of all Spanish sport, with matches also to be made available internationally via a catch-up service.”

The LaLigaSportsTV app is available in eight languages (English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russia and Indonesian) for smartphone and tablet, while the smart TV service can be accessed in English and Spanish.

All LaLigaSportsTV content can be accessed for free, apart from the LaLiga 1|2|3 content, which costs €14.99 annually or €2.99 a month.

LaLiga, which is considerably further advanced with its OTT platform, said content will include: American football, Badminton, Basketball (LEB Oro), Boxing, Canoeing, Futsal (LNFS), Gymnastics, Handball (Liga ASOBAL), Hockey, LaLiga Santander (summaries and reports), LaLiga 1l2l3 TV, Liga Iberdrola women’s football (summaries and reports), Motor Racing, Snooker, Superbike, Table tennis, Triathlon, Virtual LaLiga eSports, Water polo, Weightlifting, Basque pelota (available in the coming days), Cycling (available in the coming days), Fencing (available from early May), Mountain climbing (available from the first week of April), Pétanque (available from the first week of April), Sailing (available from the first week of April).

Contact the writer of this story at paul.1620326361nicho1620326361lson@1620326361insid1620326361eworl1620326361dfoot1620326361ball.1620326361com1620326361