NEW DELHI: In what is being viewed as a tactical strategy, the season's second and last El Clasico, LaLiga's biggest club fixture, will be streamed live and free ONLY on Facebook Watch on Sunday, 3rd March, in the Indian subcontinent.
For some background, LaLiga signed a landmark deal with Facebook last August before the start of the 2018/19 season for telecast of all LaLiga matches in the region. A week after the signing, the social media behemoth reached a sublicensing agreement with incumbent rights holder Sony Pictures Networks India that ensured television coverage would continue.
SportzPower can reveal that as per the agreement that was reached between the two companies when the sublicensing deal was negotiated, any one of the two LaLiga games in the season would be featured exclusively on Facebook. SPN opted for the first LaLiga game as it had a more "India friendly" kick-off time.
Broadcast Details for El Clasico:
Date: 3rd March 2019 (Sunday)
Kick-off Time: 1:15am IST (On-Air 0:15am IST)
Destination: Facebook Watch via the LaLiga Official Facebook Page
The legendary rivalry between Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona is the most anticipated fixture for football fans across the globe. Fans in India can watch the match live and free on Facebook Watch in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Live studio coverage will be hosted by Joe Morrison. The popular presenter will be joined by former Real Madrid CF defender Michel Salgado and former English top-flight goalkeeper and fan favourite John Burridge.
Fans can follow LaLiga’s official Facebook Page to add their match to their Watchlist.
Commenting about the upcoming match, Jose Antonio Cachaza, managing director, LaLiga India, said: “El Clasico is the biggest rivalry not only in LaLiga, but the world, with an aggressive competitiveness between the clubs and of course adding to that the illuminous history. It is the perfect opportunity for fans in India to experience watching the best of football live and free on Facebook Watch, with enhanced ease and convenience. This fixture will be available solely on Facebook Watch for the first time and we hope a maximum number of fans across the nation are able to watch this high-profile clash between two giants of the sport.”
So far, the results for the Facebook Watch LaLiga broadcasts have been tremendous, as LaLiga has been able to reach a new and younger audience in this key growth market. For example, 82% of viewers of these broadcasts have been under the age of 35. In addition, the broadcasts have succeeded in creating a new, interactive viewing behaviour. They’ve generated more than 500 thousand comments and 6.8 million reactions and have been shared more than 124 thousand times. Facebook’s video polling product, which allows viewers to vote on different topics in real-time, has been especially impactful in helping fans participate in the action. So far, 21% of viewers have voted in a poll during a LaLiga Facebook Watch broadcast and, on average, those who vote in a poll watch 2.5X longer than those who do not vote.
India’s interest in LaLiga has continued to grow year-on-year. The league’s Facebook page has risen from 300,000 to over 3.5 million followers since September 2016, further highlighting LaLiga’s growth in the country.