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El Clásico for UK viewers: LaLiga still negotiating for new deal

In the absence of satisfactory offers for broadcasting rights this summer, LaLiga will not be aired in the United Kingdom and Ireland from match week four.

Real Madrid vs Barcelona
Diario AS

LaLiga may be one of the best competitions in the world but as it stands it appears as though it will not be seen on the TV in the United Kingdom and Ireland this season, although negotiations continue.

Can Clásico deal be reached in time?

Sky Sports, the broadcaster that held the UK rights to LaLiga up until last season, has said in a statement that it has no plans to offer Spanish football through its channels, leaving fans in the UK and Ireland without the opportunity to watch the likes of Lionel Messi, Eden Hazard and Joao Felix week-in-week-out.

Viewers in the UK are set to miss Messi's weekly magic shows.
Full screen
Viewers in the UK are set to miss Messi's weekly magic shows.Diario AS

At the moment, LaLiga and broadcaster ITV have an agreement that guarantees the broadcasting of a selection of games during the first three match weeks of the competition. This measure has been put in place as a temporary solution after the termination of the contract with Eleven Sports, the broadcaster that had acquired LaLiga rights for last season in a three-year deal.

LaLiga’s uncertain future on UK TV

The issue arose two years ago when LaLiga chief Javier Tebas decided to reject an offer from Sky Sports, which had been broadcasting Spanish football for the last 20 years, in favour of handing rights to streaming platform Eleven Sports.

However, Eleven Sports decided to terminate its exclusive contract to air LaLiga fixtures as it looked to balance the books amid fears of the closure of its UK operations. Subsequently, the LaLiga board signed an agreement whereby Eleven Sports would share broadcasting rights with ITV and Premier Sports until the end of the season.

In the absence of satisfactory offers for LaLiga rights this summer, the Spanish competition will not be broadcast in the United Kingdom and Ireland from match week four, unless another agreement can be reached in time. As this newspaper understands the situation, negotiations are still ongoing.

As it stands, the only option that currently appears on the table is that of Premier Sports, which airs Serie A in Britain and Ireland and has already made a proposal to acquire the rights to show the Spanish league. With complaints from UK viewers rife, could a deal yet be reached in the coming weeks?


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