LaLiga hopes to grow audience base in India through Facebook partnership
MUMBAI: LaLiga managing director Jose Antonio Cachaza has said that the league’s audience is witnessing a growth every week on Facebook. He expects the LaLiga viewership on Facebook to grow further as awareness increases.
“Our audience is growing week after week on Facebook as the awareness among fans grows,” Cachaza said. He further stated that LaLiga’s strategy is to reach the fans through different platforms including traditional and social media. The audience outreach strategy includes doing on-ground events which include public screening of LaLiga matches.
Cachaza said that the LaLiga-Facebook partnership for India is unique. “What we are doing with our broadcast rights is unique in the world where our matches reach for free to all our fans through Facebook.”
Facebook had won the LaLiga media rights for three years in July 2018. “We do believe that the future of content consumption will go digital. This (Facebook partnership) is a step in the right direction. Given the digital penetration in India it is the prime market for doing it,” he noted.
He also praised Sony Pictures Networks India, which had broadcast rights before Facebook became the official media rights partners.
It is pertinent to note that Facebook had sub-licenced the broadcast rights to Sony in the first year. However, the parties didn’t renew the partnership after the first year. The deal was to telecast three matches a week on Sony channels.
Cachaza said that the consumption of sports content on digital is different from television. “Television viewing is passive viewing while digital is more interactive and that is quite important,” he stated.
He also said that digital offers a high level of interactivity and that makes a huge difference because it also offers insights about the fans. This, in turn, allows LaLiga to respond to the needs of the fans.
He feels that Facebook-LaLiga is a radical change.
Queried whether the reach of LaLiga has taken a hit due to non-availability on sports channels? Cachaza said that football is broadcast on premium sports channels whether it is Star or Sony and that diminishes the reach of the property.
“LaLiga used to air on Sony’s premium channels which diminishes the reach. The football properties that Star has is on its premium channels. On digital, fans have to pay a subscription to watch it on SonyLIV or Hotstar,” he added.
He also averred that LaLiga’s popularity in India is on the rise. The league’s growing followers on Facebook is a case in point. “The best way to understand where we were and where we are is to see that three years ago we had only 300,000 followers on Facebook and today we have 3.6 million followers,” he asserted.
LaLiga recently roped in BKT Tyres as an official partner. Efforts are on to get more Indian brands to associate with LaLiga. “We are talking to Indian brands to become our global partners. We just signed BKT Tyres,” he stated.