March 5 – Social media giant Facebook has not renewed its contract to stream the Champions League in Latin America and Spain’s La Liga in India.
In 2018, Facebook began streaming Europe’s premier club competition with exclusive free-to-air rights for 32 live matches each season, including the final. That contract finishes with the current season.
In India, Facebook also had the rights to broadcast every La Liga match. In January, La Liga released its media-rights tender for the Indian market, but Facebook is not among the bidders, explaining that it’s model is built around a more direct relationship with its users.
“We also didn’t bid to extend our UEFA Champions League and La Liga agreements,” said Facebook’s director of sports league Robert Shaw. “We still have excellent partnerships with these leagues, but the reality is that traditional media rights deals like these aren’t compatible with our current video business model. We also don’t think they’ll create the most sustainable value for the industry moving forward.”
When the La Liga pact in India was announced three years ago, Facebook characterised it as an experiment. “This is one deal,” said Facebook’s director of global sports partnership Peter Hutton at the time. “It’s not something that is a big threat to the broadcast world.”
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1618088668labto1618088668ofdlr1618088668owedi1618088668sni@o1618088668fni1618088668