GolTV, which holds exclusive US rights to Spain’s La Liga, has cut a deal to share games with ESPN through 2012. The move comes as the Spanish soccer league, already regarded by many as tops in Europe, has acquired two more of the world’s premier soccer stars.
“La Liga is arguably the most prestigious European soccer league in the world. We’re thrilled to work with GolTV to showcase La Liga on ESPN for the first time to soccer fans in the US. With the pending addition of Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka, the timing is great to include this great property to the ESPN Deportes line-up, as it is the most exciting soccer league in the world today,” said Lino Garcia, general manager, ESPN Deportes.
With this deal, GolTV and ESPN will give La Liga fans in the US the ability to see an unprecedented number of games, beginning in August 2009. Under the terms of the agreement, in addition to the 120 live games in English and Spanish that will be televised on GolTV, ESPN Deportes will provide exclusive Spanish-language coverage of more than 95 La Liga regular-season matches live. ESPN360.com – ESPN’s live sports broadband network – will stream at least 114 matches, including simulcast of all 95 ESPN Deportes matches live in English. ESPN2 will televise select matches and ESPN Mobile TV (on FLO TV and MobiTV) will also stream select games live to mobile devices. Additional coverage will include a highlights show on match days on ESPN Deportes, as well as re-air rights across ESPN Deportes and ESPN360.com.
ESPN Deportes and ESPN360.com will also have rights to Copa del Rey, Spain’s domestic cup tournament.
GolTV currently offers live and premiere coverage of the 2009 La Liga season, as well as the weekly program “Ole! La Liga,” which showcases top highlights from the Spanish league and airs on Mondays.
With this agreement, ESPN Deportes will have a consistent block of live soccer on weekends – Mexican First Division, MLS, Dutch First Division and South American World Cup Qualifying. Each week ESPN Deportes will televise more than 16 hours of live soccer and seven hours of news and information.