Sky Sports loses La Liga broadcasting rights to Leeds United owner’s Eleven Sports

Andrea Radrizzani’s company enters the UK market for the first time, but already airs Formula One and the Premier League around the world.

Alastair Pusinelli by Alastair Pusinelli

Sky Sports used to dominate the sporting scene in the UK. For many, they are still the biggest player in the game, broadcasting boxing cricket, football, tennis and more.

Things have changed in recent years however, with Sky first surrendering the rights to some Premier League matches to BT Sport for the 2013-14 season. Sky had been challenged before, but their near monopoly on the sports TV market blew away the likes of Setanta Sports and ESPN around a decade ago. 

BT were up for the fight however, and their successful bid for 38 matches a season between 2013-14 and 2015-16 as well as making it free for existing BT Broadband customers, showed they were up for the challenge.

Not only have BT improved their stake in the Premier League rights package (pushing the overall cost to a peak £5.1 billion in 2015), but the seismic move was receiving exclusivity for UEFA competitions; the Champions League and Europa League. The near £900 million bid put BT in the ascendancy, and surprisingly there has been no serious reaction from Sky since.

The latest news that the Murdoch-owned Sky has lost the rights to La Liga indicates that Sky are moving backwards once again, with no statement of intent since BT entered the game.

Sky reduced their prior £18 million offer for the La Liga rights this time around, opening the door for Eleven Sports to step into the UK market for the first time. This will be the first time Sky do not show La Liga matches for the first time in over 20 years.

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Alastair Pusinelli

First console: GameBoy Color / Favourite Game: Assassin's Creed 2 / Currently playing: Football Manager 2020

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