La Liga aims to be India’s second favourite tournament: Jose Cachaza

La Liga has invested $4.9 mn for foundation projects of 2018-19 season

MUMBAI: La Liga was the most talked topic in football after FIFA World Cup in 2018 because of its first-of-its-kind deal with Facebook for three years for the Indian subcontinent. In the past couple of years, La Liga’s main focus has been to promote Spanish football beyond its borders, with the aim to create a community of fans around the world.  

With this aim La Liga now has nine international offices: two in China (Shanghai and Beijing), one in South Africa (Johannesburg), Nigeria (Lagos), the United States (New York), the United Arab Emirates (Dubai), India (New Delhi), Mexico (Mexico City) and Singapore.

Talking about the deal with Facebook, La Liga India MD Jose Cachaza said, “We are doing what’s never done before. Both La Liga and Facebook are very happy looking at how the project is evolving and we hope that our relationship with Facebook will be a long and fruitful one. The figures are really positive till now. We are changing the way Indian fans watch football.”

While the 380 matches were to be available for free to people on Facebook in eight countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, Facebook and SPN reached an agreement wherein the broadcaster earned the right to air over 100 games via its sports cluster.

La Liga delegate India Gary Udhwani said, “Our mission is to increase the brand value and brand image not only of La Liga but also of all the clubs. In India, we have many objectives which include increasing revenues and being closer to our fans but our main aim is to contribute to the local growth of football because if football grows here, La Liga will automatically grow. We like to be the second most popular league in any country after their local league.”

The total revenue earned in the 2016/17 season by LaLiga amounted to €3,662.3 million, which represents an increase of €494.6 million (15.6 per cent) compared to the previous season.

“India is the fastest growing economy in the world. We all know that cricket is the country’s favourite sport. While 80 per cent of the live sports audience comes from cricket, football is already the second most watched sport on Indian television,” Cachaza added.

In the last four seasons, LaLiga has increased its international presence around the world. Institutional relations have been reinforced with federations, leagues and even governments, with whom MoUs have been signed.

LaLiga has also invested a great deal of human and technical resources in the protection of its audiovisual rights. The sale of these rights accounts for a large part of the income received by football clubs and LaLiga has a duty to protect its value.

La Liga’s enterprising foundation organises a multitude of Corporate Social Responsibility projects that aim to spread the values of CSR of professional football in society. In order to do this, LaLiga allocates €67 million per year to CSR work, thus becoming the highest contributor among the European leagues in social matters.

The LaLiga Foundation is working on unique projects, in which football values take centre stage and are transferred to all corners of the world. These projects are being carried out on a budget of $4.9 million (4.25 million Euros) for the 2018-2019 season.

Cachaza pointed out that the exit of Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t affect La Liga. But if we look at the numbers provided by BARC India, the movement of Ronaldo from Real Madrid to Juventus did indeed affect viewership. El Clasico’s impressions dropped down from 4 million to 2 million, but on the other hand, Serie A viewership doubled. The El Clasico's number do not include the impressions garnered on Facebook.

Football associations are also fighting piracy. On 23 January, a joint statement from the Asian Football Confederation, Bundesliga, F.A. Premier League, FIFA, LaLiga and UEFA was issued against beoutQ, regarding illegally screening matches of AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019. The statement read, “Collectively we, as rights-holders in various football competitions, condemn the pirate entity beoutQ, which continues to abuse the operations of rights holders and legitimate broadcasters through its persistent and illegal screening of events for which it has made no effort to secure the rights; the latest example of which is the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.”

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