La Liga has been a fixture of Sky Sports programming for the last 20 years until this summer when Eleven Sports pick it up, leaving a huge hole in the television company's sports package.
If this news weren't big enough, it has been followed up by the news that the UK's broadcasting rights for Serie A will also be taken up by the Italian company.
Serie A has been on BT Sport for the last few years who ceded the rights to Eleven Sports, despite the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo has recently joined the league and created a surge of interest.
With two of the biggest football leagues in the world moving onto a relatively unknown streaming service, it will be interesting to see how the TV powerhouses react.
What does it mean for fans?
Currently, we are used to seeing La Liga and Serie A on television platforms but now we are likely to see that change with a streaming service dedicated to the two leagues.
In a statement, Eleven Sports said:
“ELEVEN SPORTS has secured Serie A on a three-year agreement starting with the upcoming 2018/19 season. Today’s announcement follows the platform’s entry into the market in May with the acquisition of rights to LaLiga for the next three seasons. The addition of Serie A means ELEVEN SPORTS will be the only place where fans can watch every game from two of Europe’s best leagues, including every league game featuring Cristiano Ronaldo following his recent transfer to Juventus.”
The company have also announced that they are now in partnership with IMG, who have taken a minority stake in the company to help them get their product off the ground and running.
What is the service?
Eleven Sports will be a solely online streaming service. They have said in their statement that:
“Four LIVE Event channels that ‘pop up’ to prevent schedule clashes and enabling fans to access several simultaneous matches at one time will also be utilised. Fans will also have access to LaLigaTV on ELEVEN SPORTS – the 24/7 in-house channel which features documentaries, magazine shows and other exclusive LaLiga content, giving dedicated fans behind-the-scenes access and insight at a level never seen before.”
The company have also said that they are in discussions with major television broadcasters about bringing their product onto their platforms. However, that is only in the discussion stage at the moment.
Executive chairman of Eleven Sports, Mark Watson, has said that: “With more top-tier rights to come in addition to Serie A and LaLiga, ELEVEN SPORTS’ entry in to the UK and Ireland has changed the market dynamics. History has shown new rivals bring innovation and fresh thinking to the ways in which premium sports action is produced, packaged and distributed for fans.”
No pricing structures have been announced yet but make sure to check Eleven Sports for regular updates.
What do you make of this new service? Let us know in the comments below.
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