NEW YORK, June 22 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — GolTV, the only live bilingual channel delivering 24/7 international soccer, which holds exclusive TV rights to Spain’s La Liga and ESPN have reached an agreement for Spanish and English-language multimedia rights to Spain’s La Liga in the U.S. through 2012. The two multimedia companies will now share coverage of one of the world’s most popular and most watched football leagues — Spain’s La Liga.
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With this deal, GolTV and ESPN will give La Liga fans in the U.S. the ability to see an unprecedented number of games. 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.
ESPNdeportes.com — – the company’s Spanish-language Web site, and ESPNSoccernet — – the leading soccer news and information site, will deliver complete coverage including highlights and news video, original reporting, columns, match previews, player profiles and real-time scores and data.
La Liga, the highest rated European soccer league on Spanish-language television in 2008 (based on Nielsen measurements) will debut on both networks in August 2009. Together the two multimedia companies will televise at least 234 regular season matches (120 on GolTV; 95 on ESPN Deportes; and 114 on ESPN360.com;). The networks will also televise the Copa del Rey. Together they will offer nearly 400 hours of La Liga programming.
La Liga’s 20 teams have made it the top UEFA competitions more than any other European league. Real Madrid and Barcelona are the club’s top two teams, winning 31 and 19 titles, respectively. Each week’s telecast on both networks are to be anchored by a news and information highlights show completely dedicated to covering all the news around La Liga.
“There is so much La Liga, and so much demand, we felt that for our fans and video distribution partners, the right answer was not to launch yet another exclusive channel, but to extend our programming rights across multiple networks — – and there is no better partner for this endeavor than ESPN,” said Rodrigo Lombello, COO, GolTV. “No other European football league can match La Liga in attracting large audiences on Spanish-language television.”
“La Liga is arguably the most prestigious European soccer league in the world,” said Lino Garcia, general manager, ESPN Deportes. “We’re thrilled to work with GolTV to showcase La Liga on ESPN for the first time to soccer fans in the U.S. 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.”
“La Liga features the biggest soccer stars in the world and its non-stop action is unmatched. These teams, including Real Madrid and Barcelona, deliver GolTV’s highest-rated games, and now by partnering with ESPN we will now serve all La Liga fans wherever they are, and on whatever channel they prefer to watch the game,” said Enzo Francescoli, founder and CEO of GolTV. “Because fans come first, we knew that making more of La Liga available across ESPN’s premiere multimedia platforms makes everyone a winner in this game. We couldn’t be more pleased to have this new relationship with ESPN.”
“At a time when Spanish teams are investing in the best soccer talent in the world, we are thrilled that through GolTV and ESPN La Liga will have the exposure and reach of such a large and significant audience,” said Roger Huguet CEO of Imagina US who represents La Liga’s broadcasting rights in the United States.
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 at 7:30 p.m. ET. For a complete programming schedule, please visit www.goltv.tv.
With this agreement, ESPN Deportes will now 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 7 hours of news and information.
GolTV is where soccer lives in the US 24/7, 365 days of the year. Founded in 2003 and led by Chief Executive Officer and former international futbol superstar, Enzo Francescoli, GolTV is the only bilingual US soccer network and the first channel conceived by professional athletes. GolTV is the only all-soccer network with unsurpassed exclusive soccer broadcast rights and an unmatched programming mix that speaks the universal language of soccer. The network brings viewers action from some of the world’s most competitive leagues and elite tournaments, offering over 8,000 hours of soccer action each year and more unique soccer matches than any other network. For more information, visit www.goltv.tv.
About ESPN Deportes
ESPN DEPORTES is ESPN’s multimedia, Spanish-language sports brand dedicated to providing the widest variety of sports to the U.S. Hispanic sports fan via television, radio, online, print, and wireless. Sports media assets include ESPN Deportes television which offers unparalleled Spanish-language sports programming, featuring more than 1,800 live and/or original hours of sports programming presented annually; ESPN Deportes Radio, the only around-the-clock national Spanish-language sports radio network in the U.S. with 31 affiliates nationwide.; ESPNDeportes.com, the #1 Spanish-language sports Web site among Spanish-preferred fans in the U.S.; ESPN Deportes La Revista, the first general sports Spanish-language magazine in the U.S.; and ESPN Deportes Mobile, the brand’s emerging business which offers Spanish-language sports content to fans via wireless devices.
ESPN360.com is ESPN’s live sports broadband network, giving fans a 24/7 online destination that delivers more than 3,200 live, global sports events annually. It is available at no cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection from an affiliated service provider. ESPN360.com is currently available in nearly 25 million homes nationwide (and soon to add more than 15 million Comcast households nationwide, making it available in nearly 41 million households — – a majority of US broadband homes). It is available via dozens of Internet Service Providers nationwide, including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast (August 2009), RCN, Insight, Frontier, Cavalier, Charter, Mediacom, Conway, Grande Communications and many more. It is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks (those with “.edu” and “.mil” domains).
In the past year, ESPN360.com has delivered more than 800 live soccer matches online. La Liga joins a lineup of other top global soccer on ESPN360.com including World Cup events and qualifiers, Football League (UK), Carling Cup (UK), Italian Serie A, Portuguese Liga Sagres, MLS, US National team, Confederations Cup and more.
SOURCE ESPN Deportes