Facebook Now Holds UEFA, Serie A, and La Liga Streaming Rights. Should TV Channels be Worried?

Facebook Acquires Rights to Air UEFA Champions League in Latin America

Facebook will now air UEFA Champions League matches in Latin America. Europe’s football governing body, UEFA, announced that the social media giant has won “certain rights” air live games in the Spanish speaking America.

According to the terms of the deal, Facebook becomes “the exclusive free-to-air home for certain UEFA Champions League live matches across Spanish-speaking territories during the 2018-21 cycle”, says UEFA. The social media platform will show 32 matches each season including the finals and the UEFA Super Cup.

No information about the financial terms was disclosed.

“We are delighted to welcome Facebook to the UEFA family of media partners”, says Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA’s Director of Marketing.

As the largest online social media platform globally, Facebook will ensure wide-ranging free-to-air coverage of the world’s most prestigious club competition. We look forward to the launch of this new partnership that will ensure the large community of local football fans is reached in a highly innovative and accessible manner.

Facebook Acquires More Football Rights

This is not Facebook’s first attempt to provide live programming for its users. Over the last few weeks, the social media giant has struck quite a few deals to air popular league matches.

This month, the social media giant signed a deal to air one match each from La Liga and Serie A per week.

And just last Tuesday, the company completed a deal with Spain’s La Liga to air this season’s competition on the Indian subcontinent.

What is Next for Regular Broadcasters?

This is all interesting to know. But it could be very scary for regular TV broadcasters.

With its strong user base and Internet presence, Facebook and other Internet companies could steal live programming from traditional broadcasters. The only factor limiting that possibility has been the absence of affordable Internet access.

However, with the ubiquity of free Internet, buoyed by Google’s Project Loon and others, web platforms could soon lead the way and displace TV broadcasters.

Already companies like DSTv, despite its strong hold in Africa, is threatened by the growing dominance of Netflix.

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