Can La Liga TV carve a niche out in UK football market?

In 2018, Sky Sports lost its rights to show La Liga matches in the United Kingdom. With Sky Sports’ focus and money going into Premier League and EFL Championship television rights, it allowed Eleven Sports to swoop in and take over showing Spanish top-flight games. Spanish football fans can watch all of the great action from La Liga on television this weekend in the UK on La Liga TV. Before the matches kick-off, fans can visit this website for the latest bet bonuses to wager on the games.

It didn’t take long, however, for Eleven Sports to lose the La Liga television rights contract in 2019. La Liga then moved to Premier Sports in the UK continuing its nomadic life seeking football fans to give it refuge.

After a brief stop off on free-to-air channel ITV in which games were occasionally shown on delay, La Liga decided to cut out the middle man and launch its own channel in the UK this winter. Sky cable subscribers in the UK saw La Liga TV for free during a two-week period at the end of January. However, if you were not following La Liga’s social media accounts or were not in tune with Spanish football news in the UK, then you may have missed your free to view period.

La Liga TV: The good and the bad

The channel had some good things to offer, especially matches kicking off early in the day allowing football fans to watch games on Saturdays and Sundays at midday. Football fans were able to sit down and watch the action from the Spanish top-flight during lunch. This weekend’s La Liga action sees a big match between Real Betis and Barcelona. Football fans are debating which team will win and can use this code for a bet bonus before wagering on the Verdiblancos and Blaugrana.

In addition, La Liga TV offered a lot of football to watch, not always good (see Atletico Madrid v. Leganes), with fans able to see more action (or just as much) from Spain as in England’s Premier League on their televisions.

However, there were some problems with the channel that could ultimately cause its doom in the UK. For starters, the 3 pm kick offs were blacked out, just as games around the UK, preventing fans from watching football in the afternoon. It is a maddening issue that even in 2020 UK football fans cannot watch 3 pm kick offs even when they come from a league outside of the country.

In addition, La Liga TV is a premium channel on top of Sky Sports and BT Sports. Not many UK football fans are going to pay even more money on top of their already sky-high cable bills to add the channel. If you love football, then an extra £11.99 per month (or £99 per year) doesn’t sound like a lot. For others it certainly does.

Premier League is king in the UK

The problem for UK customers is the competition between Sky Sports and BT Sports. Instead of working together to offer fans a great package, customers must pay for Sky Sports and add BT Sport for an extra £29.99 a month. Fans do get a lot of football from BT Sport including the Premier League, Champions League, Europa League, and Bundesliga. In addition, various American sports including UFC, WWE, and college American football are available.

Sky Sports starts at £23 a month currently. Having the two packages plus a £99 a year subscription to La Liga TV will be too much money to many UK football fans. Although La Liga TV is a great idea, and something the Premier League will probably do in the future with a stand-alone channel, the typical English football fan isn’t likely to subscribe to watch occasionally.

The numbers of subscribers will be very telling when they roll in. La Liga may need to lower their TV rights fees to work with Sky Sports or BT Sport in the future if they want fans to watch.