New Delhi: Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) on Thursday announced that it has partnered with social media company Facebook Inc. to telecast the Spanish football league, La Liga on television in India. With this deal, over 100 selected matches will be aired on SPN’s sports channels, including the key clashes, El Clasico (matches between rivals FC Barcelona and Real Madrid) and Madrid Derby (matches between Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid).

SPN will also stream the matches on its video streaming platform SonyLIV. All matches will be streamed on Facebook platform for free.

“We’re excited to team with Sony Pictures Networks India to give fans in India even more ways to watch La Liga this season. This partnership demonstrates our commitment to collaborating with broadcasters as we continue to explore a variety of different live sports business models," said Joyee Biswas, head of Asia Pacific sports partnerships, said Facebook in a statement.

Facebook takes over from Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) which bagged the media rights of La Liga between 2014 and 2018 for reportedly $32 million. This is La Liga first broadcast agreement with a social media platform.

“We have been committed to La Liga for the past four years and we are excited to continue our partnership with one of the best football leagues in the world. This confirms our commitment to be the premier football destination for all viewers. TV is one of the strongest mediums in India and through this association, Indian audiences will continue to enjoy the La Liga experience," said Rajesh Kaul, chief revenue officer-distribution and head - sports, Sony Pictures Networks India.

La Liga is one of most watched sporting events globally and also home of football clubs such as FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. Facebook will live stream all the 380 matches kicking off the season this Friday free of cost in India which has 270 million Facebook users.

Apart from India, the matches will be broadcasted on Facebook in seven more countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The matches, both live and on- demand basis, will be available on the official La Liga Facebook Page as well as individual club pages.

Last year, Facebook bid for the five-year global media rights of T20 cricket tournament Indian Premier League (IPL), along with firms like Sony Pictures Networks India and Bharti Airtel Ltd, which went to Star India Pvt Ltd for a hefty sum of 16,347.50 crore.

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