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Facebook signs new deal to show every La Liga game

The social network has signed an exclusive deal to show every La Liga game, for the next three seasons, to viewers in India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, The Maldives, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The rights were previously held by Sony Pictures Network.

There are 348m Facebook users in the region, 270m of them are in India. It is the latest move from Facebook, and the tech industry in general, to invest in highly lucrative sports rights for emerging streaming services.

The social network already shows Major League Baseball to US audiences at a reported cost of $1m per game. As with the rest of Facebook, the content is free but supported by targeted advertising.

Live sport is the major driver of subscriptions to premium cable or satellite services, and the slow creep of technology companies buying up sports rights will have traditional broadcasters concerned.

The Facebook-La Liga deal is part of a global trend. In the UK, the current Premier League season will be the last time every live match will be shown on a TV channel.

Next season, 20 games will be online-only – viewable only through Amazon. The company will bundle the games in with its Prime subscription service.

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