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La Liga TV Rights Analysis



As of the 2016-17 season LaLiga implemented a new model where TV rights were sold in a collective manner. After tough negotiations with the top clubs such as FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, a Royal Decree was signed which led to the new model. Since then the economic disparity among all clubs has gradually began decreasing although the top clubs still take the lion-share of the TV revenue. 

Over this period LaLiga reached one of its main objectives: to reduce the debt most of the clubs accumulated in their balance sheets and P&L accounts as well as the debt with the national tax agency (AEAT) and the regional tax agencies.


Broadcasting revenue represents the main driving force behind the growth of Spanish football.






When it comes to the different models for selling TV rights we can differenciate between the individual selling model and the collective one. LaLiga has been selling TV rights individually since its inception until 2015 when the Royal Decree 5/2015 was approved by law to change the model into a collective one. The improvements since the change are remarkable financially speaking. The overall growth LaLiga has experienced since then is huge as can be seen in the table below.





Source:SBI own development based on LaLiga annual financial report




In the table above we can see the breakdown of the total revenue streams since 2011. It includes the transfers and other revenues which have allowed for the increase in LaLiga’s total revenue. 


As the collective selling officially was put into practice in the 2016-2017 season, the comparison made with the 2014-15 season shows that broadcasting has grown 70,2%. Besides, if comparing 2016-17 season to the previous 2015-16 season,  it shows a 29,6% increase in broadcasting.



Source: SIB own development based on LaLiga annual financial report


In the chart above allows us to see the evolution of growth across all revenue streams for LaLiga during the past six year span. 


Source:own development based on LaLiga annual financial report



In this chart above, LaLiga total revenue breakdown from 2014-15 to 2016-17 season. Broadcasting revenue source represents the highest percentage of the total revenue every year.


Part I: LaLiga broadcasting revenue from 2014-15 to 2016-2017

(2nd Division).




Source: SBI own development based on LaLiga annual financial report



The chart above shows the broadcasting breakdown of LaLiga's growth from the 2014-15 season to the 2016-2017 season where revenue has grown 70,2%. This figures are extracted from the LaLiga annual report.



Part II: LaLiga Domestic vs Overseas TV  rights breakdown in € million in 2015-16 and 2016-2017 season





Source: LaLiga annual report & LaLiga audited annual accounts 2016-2017





With the new centralised model, 90 per cent of TV rights revenue will go to the first tier LaLiga Santander and 10 per cent to second-tier Segunda. Within the first division distribution, 90 per cent  will be divided so that 50 per cent is equally shared between the league’s 20 teams, 25 per cent allocated according to results across the previous five seasons, and the final 25 per cent distributed based on metrics such as the number of television subscribers and viewers per match. This final allocation is based on the Social Influence (Club Support) weighting have been determined according to the following criteria: one third by their average income from season tickets and gate receipts over the past five seasons and the remaining two thirds based on their contribution to broadcast resource generation calculated through a comparison of the average audiences recorded by the participating clubs in each season. The latter criterion was duly approved by the Division Boards of the respective divisions during the meetings held on 11 December 2015, and these were the competent bodies as established in the Articles of Association of the Liga Nacional de Futbol Profesional.




Source: SBI own development based on LaLiga and lajugadafinanciera data and As.com



In the table above shows the significant increase in the revenue generated by LaLiga over the past years. 

Source: SBI own development based on LaLiga figures



Source: own development based on LaLiga press release at the website





Over the past years LaLiga has experienced significant professionalization within the organization. The changes implemented have led to the reduction of the debt of its clubs and gradually narrowed the gap between the top clubs and those at the bottom of the competition.  


Although the English Premier League is still the number one revenue-generating football league in the world, the objective of LaLiga is to  continue growing the brand at an international level to narrow the gap between both competitions from a commercial standpoint. 



What it is pretty clear is that the value of the Spanish competition is attractive to many people and broadcasters across the globe. New lucrative TV agreements are reached in international markets that are showing their interest in the Spanish football competition. It is also important to mention the key role of all the offices and representatives that are spread all over the world to boost LaLiga brand.


We must also mention the OTT service LaLiga is about to launch. Now it is time for the market to see how it responds to the new media competitors such as Amazon, Facebook and how the media rights evolve in the near future.





Written by: Carlos Gazapo, Marketing Executive at SBI




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