Five more years. Until the end of the 2026-2027 season, at least, the model in which following LaLiga will be a matter of contracting the services of an operator, specifically Movistar, fiber, mobile and varied television will last in Spain. Rumors about Amazon bidding for Spanish football as it did with French and the first news of DAZN entering the auction made a scenario conceivable according to the times, in which hiring football was that, and not a range of services of telecommunications as a mandatory toll with an invoice that exceeds 100 euros per month.
DAZN, finally, and in the absence of seeing if other agreements are closed before the start of the next season, is left with five games per day. The simple reading is “half”. Deep reading is that It is hard to believe that there is a market to subscribe to only half of the LaLiga matches: the followers want to see their team, and additionally a match between the greats, such as the Clásico.
VoD platforms have changed the audiovisual industry, but football’s time has not yet come
It seems difficult for there to be a critical mass willing for the weekend to come and serve it with games from any team. That is the trick that DAZN plays: the football fan that does not require a specific team, and that consumes football as part of a larger sports offer, along with Moto GP, Formula 1, basketball and foreign football, etc.
For everything else, and it sounds like legion, Movistar+ is the only way to access all of football. And not necessarily for those who want to see all football as such, but also for those who simply want to watch their team’s matches10% of the matches of each day.
In 2019 there was a surprise in the form of broadcasting rights led by Mediaset: Mitele Plus, which began to offer LaLiga (1st and 2nd division), the Champions League and the European League for 35 euros per month. It was not cheap, but it could be used to share an account with people from other teams and not depend on contracting the services of a telecom. Our experience with this service was disastrous and the product had no travel.
The television industry and even the cinema have changed in the last decade to embrace video on demand and stop offering premieres only on a specific channel, on a specific day and at a specific time. Even a technology won the Oscar for best film. Football, however, continues with a confused bet where Movistar has managed to reduce the cost of its rights by more than 200 million euros (lately it has lost both subscribers and pay television market share) but continues to force services to be contracted at prices higher than those of its competition. Paying for football is also paying a premium for a fiber, a mobile and a general TV.
DAZN, for its part, manages to enter the battle for LaLiga at the cost of the fact that no fan of a club or any catering establishment will have enough with its five games per day.
From LaLiga we know that they have the infrastructure ready to be able to offer all their matches in their own OTT, but also that their launch is conditioned by the market situation. So for at least another five years that infrastructure will have to continue to be kept in a box waiting for its time to come. Or adapted to international markets, who knows.
The hope remains that new agreements will be reached with third parties that will encourage this market, but DAZN was the actor called to be able to offer all football without having to go through a specific teleco, and it will hardly be like that seen that it is satisfied with half of the parties. Or put another way: not to satisfy the fans of any team, but only those who want to watch football regardless of which team plays. It will be enough?
Featured image: LaLiga.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism