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LaLiga and Mediapro renew overseas rights sales deal on improved terms

Spanish soccer body also announces JV with Simon Denyer-led Ocho Sport Advisors.

5 May 2023 Ed Dixon

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  • New agreement to run until end of 2028/29
  • Mediapro reportedly agrees ‘significant reduction’ on fees from previous deal
  • Extension excludes MENA and North America, where LaLiga already has regional partners
  • League to lead on audiovisual strategy, market analysis and deadlines for entering markets

Spanish soccer’s LaLiga has retained Mediapro as the league’s international audiovisual agency in a deal running until the end of the 2028/29 season.

Financial details of the renewal were not disclosed but LaLiga said it ‘considerably improves the current commercial conditions’ and reflected LaLiga’s international growth plan. According to 2Playbook, the latest agreement is a ‘significant reduction’ in the fee Mediapro has charged.

The agency currently sells LaLiga’s international rights through to 2024 in a deal reportedly worth €897 million (US$989 million) per season.

LaLiga acknowledged that it would benefit from ‘better conditions’ regarding international agency fees, citing the league’s own efforts to boost its brand recognition and media operations overseas. LaLiga also said the latest agreement with Mediapro would establish a ‘medium-term strategy’ which will see the league lead on the likes of audiovisual strategy, market analysis and deadlines for entering markets.

The retooled pact with Mediapro covers all international territories except the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and North America, where LaLiga already has regional sales partners. Last year saw LaLiga agree a 15-year tie-up with Dubai-based esports and gaming organisation Galaxy Racer (GXR) which covers MENA and the Indian subcontinent. GXR and LaLiga each hold a 50 per cent stake in the joint venture (JV), which is projected to yield over €3 billion (US$3.3 billion) in revenue.

The union with GXR arrived after LaLiga’s deal with Relevant Sports Group covering North America. The move with the US-based agency resulted in the league inking lucrative rights deals with ESPN in the US and Televisa in Mexico and Central America, which are reportedly worth US$175 million and US$70 million a year respectively.

LaLiga also announced that it has agreed to set up a 50 per cent JV called ‘PEAK’ with Ocho Sport Advisors, which is led by former DAZN chief executive Simon Denyer. The pair will work together on the ‘transformation’ of the league’s global audiovisual strategy on a ‘national and international level’.

SportsPro says…

LaLiga has furthered efforts post-pandemic to boost its international commercial operations, highlighted by the JVs with GXR and Relevant. The league reckons its decision to lead on its overseas operations, rather than hand control to Mediapro, will ensure a more efficient, cost-effective way for hitting its targets.

The PEAK JV with Ocho will see LaLiga lean heavily into Denyer’s experience at DAZN, with the league citing his involvement in ‘the biggest shifts in the commercialisation of sports rights’ through innovations in digital, data driven and over-the-top (OTT) strategies.

This all comes as LaLiga revealed that net income across Spanish soccer’s top two divisions for the ongoing 2022/23 campaign has reached €27 million ($29.8 million) combined, following a loss of €140 million (US$154 million) in the previous season. Total revenue is expected to reach US€4.9 billion (US$5.4 billion), which would be higher than the €4.88 billion (US$5.38 billion) in 2018/2019, the last season before the pandemic.

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