Facebook joins forces with LaLiga to livestream matches in the Indian subcontinent

Facebook buys La Liga broadcasting rights in India

Facebook has scored the rights to Spanish soccer league La Liga in India and will make the games available for free via its social media platform. It means that fans in India and the Indian subcontinent including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Pakistan will be able to watch the likes of Lionel Messi and Gareth Bale play every week.

"We are really happy to be on a free to air service in such an important territory as the Indian sub-continent", Alfredo Bermejo, La Liga's head of digital strategy, told Reuters ahead of the announcement.

Facebook and La Liga declined to give the price of the deal which sees the social network giant unseat Sony Pictures Network as the rights holder in the region. "No subscriptions are needed", he said. "La Liga is a reference point in world football and (now a large) number of pepole can watch games live free through Facebook".

In addition to the live matches, shoulder programming, including a full range of weekly preview shows and highlights, will be offered.

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Sony paid a reported $32 million for the right to broadcast La Liga between 2014 and 2018.

The deal puts Facebook in competition with Fox's Star India, a network of over 60 television channels that brings sports, entertainment and news to more than 700 million people in India. We want to reach out to the biggest audience with the biggest platform possible. Facebook shared our strategy.

He said that, with almost 350 million Facebook users on the Indian subcontinent, including 270 million in India, partnering with the free social network platform "is key". "So Facebook has the flawless features to help us what we want to".

Facebook will also provide analysis of the matches by a pool of experts including former Real Madrid defender and four-time La Liga champion Michel Salgado, as well as former Barcelona and Atletico Madrid midfielder Luis Garcia.

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