LaLiga's viewership on Facebook more than doubled this season: Jose Antonio Cachaza
In a chat with e4m, LaLiga MD Cachaza lets us in on the league's fruitful partnership with Facebook
Spanish football league LaLiga's viewership in India on social media platform Facebook has more than doubled for the 2020-21 season compared to the previous season, LaLiga India MD Jose Antonio Cachaza has said.
In the Indian sub-continent, all 380 matches of LaLiga are available for viewing only on Facebook, which had acquired the football league's media rights in 2018 for three years. In the same year, Facebook had partnered with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) for airing the league on television, however, the partnership didn't last long. SPNI was the incumbent rights holder of LaLiga when Facebook had sprung a surprise by acquiring the rights.
"LaLiga audience this year is more than double than what it was in the last season. The engagement on digital is also very high. We are quite happy with the results," Cachaza said, adding that the partnership with Facebook is progressing well.
Talking about the importance of digital in the Indian market, Cachaza highlighted the growth in consumption of sports on OTT platforms particularly the Indian Premier League (IPL). "If you look at the latest IPL data, Disney+ Hotstar has been a big contributor of growth," he noted.
According to Cachaza, LaLiga will follow the tendering process in awarding media rights for the Indian sub-continent when the deal comes up for renewal. "We plan to find the right sports broadcast partner in the Indian sub-continent. It can be Facebook or someone else. We are willing to talk to anyone who can be a good partner," he stated.
When asked about the key factors that go into deciding a media rights partner, Cachaza said that the financial value of the rights and depth of reach and coverage provided by the partner are the key deciding factors.
"Broadcast revenue is the main source of revenue for any sports competition. We look at the revenue side as well as coverage and reach being provided before choosing a partner," Cachaza said.
Highlighting the importance of the Indian market, Cachaza said that 10% of its worldwide digital following comes from the Indian sub-continent with India itself comprising 5% of its global social media following.
India is a strategic market for LaLiga. It is among the key territories where LaLiga has set-up an office. The other markets include the US, Mexico, South Africa, Nigeria, Dubai, Singapore, and China among others. He also revealed that LaLiga is working with local partners to bring LaLiga clubs to India.
Talking about the strategy to keep fans engaged, Cachaza said that the sports organisations have to provide content to fans beyond the match day and highlights. He also highlighted the various broadcast innovations pioneered by LaLiga globally.
As part of its Covid-related broadcast innovations, the league used virtual fans and fake crowd noise as part of its live broadcast for the current season. This was something that was also implemented by IPL in India, Cachaza pointed out.
"We have technically the most advanced broadcast of any league. We have spider spy cams in almost every stadium. We use 360-Degree replay technology. We have a proprietary video motion analysis tool called Media Coach that gives all the data of the match to coaches. We integrate some of that data in the broadcast," said Cachaza.
LaLiga, Cachaza said, is making up for revenue loss due to Covid by controlling expenditure and finding new revenue streams. "We imposed salary cap limits on clubs. It is something that was agreed by the clubs also. As far as new sources of revenue are concerned, digital and international markets are two key revenue streams."
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