DAZN – the sports OTT service – and Telefonica-owned Pay TV operator Movistar have acquired local broadcast rights for LaLiga football league matches, in a deal worth €4.96B. The domestic broadcast partnership for Spain’s top football division will see both broadcasters air five LaLiga matches per fixture round, with three match days per season to be aired exclusively by Telefonica. From 2022 to 2027, DAZN has exclusive broadcast rights for 175 LaLiga matches.
The TV rights contract represents DAZN’s most significant rights acquisition in Spain and it is also the longest ever signed by the Spanish football league. Movistar has previously acquired local broadcast rights for LaLiga matches, signing a three-year deal with the league in 2018 worth €2.94B. This latest agreement has given a significant boost to LaLiga’s domestic rights revenues – which have increased by €10 million per season – and represents a 20.3% rise in its rights valuation.
Tim Mulligan, Executive Vice President and Research Director at MIDiA Research, argues that the “willingness of DAZN to increase the premium that it is prepared to pay for premium domestic sports emphasises its long-term rights strategy.” He notes that, in partnership with Sky, the sports streaming service has also acquired domestic rights to broadcast the Bundesliga in Germany for the period of 2021-2025, and has exclusive local rights to 114 Serie A matches. Having positioned itself early as the go-to OTT service for boxing, professional wrestling and MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) content, Mulligan believes this latest move consolidates DAZN’s current “local first, global niche second” strategy.
James Rushton, DAZN co-Chief Executive, said: “The award of these LaLiga rights represents a strategic local investment for us in a key market, and is all part of the global momentum that we are driving across our business, which continues at pace. This is further proof that we are well past the tipping point in the migration of fans from viewing sports on linear Pay TV, to streaming services.”
A 2021 survey of 15,000 consumers across 14 key markets (including the UK, U.S., Spain, India and Brazil), conducted by Graybo, suggests that global TV subscriptions for sports have declined by 9% since 2019. In contrast, uptake of streaming services for sports has increased by 41%. Based on the survey, Graybo – a cloud video platform provider – forecasts that, by 2026, the Pay TV market will only have a 28% customer share of global sports fans (who pay a subscription of some kind for sports content), with the remaining 72% paying for streaming services instead.