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MTV enters sports market, acquires rights for La Liga

There is a new player in the sports broadcasting market. MTV, known to cater to pop music lovers among the younger generation, is now the new home for the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid on television screens across the Indian subcontinent.

The three-year deal comes after LaLiga broadcast matches on social media platform Facebook for a similar period. MTV is part of the Viacom18 Media Group, and the network seems keen to add elite European football, which enjoys a large following among India’s youth, to its music stable.

With the English Premier League and German Bundesliga properties with Star Network, and the Sony Group bringing top-level international tournaments (UEFA Champions League, FIFA World Cup, European Championships, Copa America) to viewers, MTV’s deal brings Spanish top-flight football back to Indian TV screens after a considerable hiatus.

“This is a strategic decision. LaLiga is always ready to innovate and try out new things. In fact, that’s why we worked with Facebook before this,” Aakriti Vohra, Head, Brand Properties, LaLiga India, told The Indian Express. “Viacom is also looking to diversify their sports portfolio. There are big plans involved and we are very excited.”

The league wants to capitalise on MTV’s considerable presence among the younger age group.

“We are confident that we will reach and engage with the youthful audience that MTV as a destination appeals to,” Oscar Mayo, Executive Director, LaLiga, said in a joint press release.

Apart from MTV, LaLiga matches will also be aired on select national and regional channels of the network, and live-streamed on Voot and Jio platforms.

The latest acquisition could be the centre-piece around which the network’s strategy will be woven.

“Viacom18 and MTV are committed to building a wholesome entertainment-driven ecosystem centred around LaLiga, in a bid to further augment the fandom of the game,” the release said.

Ahead of the next LaLiga season that starts on August 13, Viacom18 plans to launch a “massive marketing and communications campaign, further building the fandom and outreach for LaLiga in India. MTV’s extensive social media and digital clout will ensure that LaLiga engages fans through a multi-platform approach,” it added.

“Viacom18 will leverage its TV, digital and social assets to make LaLiga a household name in the region.”

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