OTT & Digital

RFEF to launch La Liga OTT competitor ‘within a year’

Spanish FA president reveals collaboration plans with Olympic Committee.

by Steven Impey

RFEF to launch La Liga OTT competitor ‘within a year’

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) is working with the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) on the launch of a new over-the-top (OTT) service, the soccer body’s president has confirmed.

Luis Rubiales revealed to local media that the two organisations could have a streaming platform ready within a year, with an eye on competing with a similar product that professional league body La Liga has in the pipeline for media rights.

Last month, La Liga announced that it would become the first major European soccer league to launch an OTT service called LaLigaSportsTV, which aims to serve ‘virtually all sports’ in Spain.

As part of the move, the organising body for the top flights of Spanish soccer declared that fans outside of Spain will also be able to view on-demand re-runs of matches and competitions from various sports, pending local rights restrictions.

Meanwhile, the service plans to make live broadcasters from La Liga’s Segunda Division available to Spanish users as part of its annual and monthly subscriptions.

Speaking at the World Soccer Congress in Barcelona, Rubiales explained that, in contrast, the RFEF is working on an alternative OTT format that “all the federations want, no matter how small”, and one that allows them to invest in their own content production and profit from its distribution.

Quoted by the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, he said: “La Liga does not receive more money as a result of a magnificent management, but as a result of a regulatory change that has given it an exclusive position, and also wants to do business through other sports and that is a tremendous invasion.

"The competitions to broadcast the cycling, canoeing, etc., have the federations, and they can leave it in the hands of another, in our humble opinion, an abuse that is outside their competence, or do it in their own way.

“Everyone will have the possibility (to join our platform). Those who want to participate will participate. I am convinced that with the thrust of Alejandro Blanco (COE president), when a project always does it to win, we will be there.”