Officially launched in the UK during the week commencing 13 January, 24/7 English language TV channel LaLigaTV broadcasts all available live matches from Spain’s top-flight accompanied by analysis, debate and interviews.
The operator of 750 sites, Stonegate, confirmed that it would broadcast the channel’s fixtures – featuring the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Luka Modric – from 17 January at selected pubs, becoming the first UK pub group to collaborate on in-venue promotions with LaLiga.
Pub-going fans will be able to use Stonegate’s We Love Sport app to search for their local La Liga-showing venue.
As reported by The Morning Advertiser on 18 July, Stonegate Pub Company agreed to buy Ei Group in a deal that will see the operator’s estate rise by 4,000 sites, making Stonegate the UK’s largest pub owner.
‘Huge’ UK market
To mark the arrival of LaLigaTV in the UK, Stonegate has scheduled a number of events as part of a series called LaLiga x We Love Sport which kicked off on 18 December with a viewing party for El Clásico between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, held at Sports Bar & Grill in Marylebone, London.
Held in collaboration between LaLiga, Premier Sports – the holder of UK broadcast rights to La Liga – and Budweiser, the event featured an appearance by LaLigaTV pundit and former Chelsea and Tottenham midfielder Gus Poyet.
“I am so excited about this partnership,” Elliott Cantor, sport digital marketing manager at Stonegate Pub Company commented.
“To be the first pub company in the UK to offer extensive coverage of LaLigaTV is a fantastic opportunity for our pubs. We pride ourselves on our innovative initiatives and continuous improvement to our offer.
“Recent research has shown that 26% of UK consumers are already avid fans of LaLiga football; this is a huge market for us. Sport has always been an important part of our strategy and we are dedicated to investing in our sports pubs to ensure the customer experience is second to none.”
“LaLiga offers a world-class television product with distinct kick-off times, allowing publicans to show the best of Spanish football throughout the weekend, including on Saturday and Sunday evenings,” Keegan Pierce, international development at LaLiga for the UK and Ireland added.
“We’re excited to team up with Stonegate Pub Company and look forward to building on this partnership in the future.”
As reported by MA in October, tech company Screach teamed up with broadcaster Premier Sports to offer pubs low-cost access to live sport – a move it claims is a UK first.
Through Screach’s streaming technology, pubs will be able to showcase league fixtures featuring Juventus’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi after Premier Sports acquired La Liga and Serie A rights from ITV4 and Eleven Sports respectively.
It is estimated the deal will deliver pubs 150 incremental live matches that don’t clash with Premier League fixtures.
“Premier Sports are delighted to be able to provide Stonegate venues LaLigaTV for their customers to enjoy,” Graham Byrne, director commercial customers at Premier Sports said of Stonegate’s deal.
“Stonegate continue to be at the forefront of offering the very best of live sport in their venues.”