LaLiga has signed a new eight-year TV deal with Televisa that will double the money the Spanish soccer league makes from its media rights in Mexico and Central America, according to people familiar with the deal.
The agreement was brokered by LaLiga North America, the 50-50 joint venture between LaLiga and Relevent Sports Group. Though LaLiga’s current deal with Televisa’s SKY Sports doesn’t expire until after the 2023-24 season, the group ran a tender process this year that resulted in an extension with the Mexican media giant.
The deal is worth about $70 million per year, double what SKY Sports is currently paying, said the people, who were granted anonymity because the details are private. Representatives for LaLiga North America and Televisa didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
LaLiga North America was formed in 2018 in partnership with Relevent, a soccer media event organizer backed by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross. Relevent, which has positioned itself as a conduit for the sport in North America and Asia, also runs the International Champions Cup. The joint venture’s aim was to help LaLiga maximize its commercial presence overseas by partnering with a group that has local manpower and expertise.
The partnership started with the U.S., where LaLiga North America negotiated a new $1.4 billion deal with ESPN, still the richest U.S. TV deal for a European league. In June, its purview expanded to include Mexico, where it recently built a content studio in Guadalajara. Boris Gartner, CEO of LaLiga North America, is a former Univision/Televisa executive.
The league has partnered with SKY Sports for a long time, and securing a new partnership was one of the joint venture’s main priorities when its coverage expanded. LaLiga is also hoping to focus on more non-game content, grassroots efforts, and possibly hosting a LaLiga regular season match in Mexico.
LaLiga’s biggest international markets for media rights are now as follows: 1) the United States (around $175 million per year), 2) Middle East and North Africa (around $115 million per year), 3) China (around $100 million per year) and 4) Mexico and Central America (around $70 million per year).
Televisa is in the process of merging with Univision to create what it says will be the largest Spanish-language media company in the world. The two groups’ sports divisions have been working together since 2019.