La Liga believes they can close the gap in revenues with the Premier League in the next 10 years with an ambitious plan to expand its international audience.
Javier Tebas, La Liga’s president, says the Premier League earns about 40 per cent a year more than the Spanish league’s £1.7billion in television rights.
Currently the biggest disparity is that the British market is itself is bigger than Spain’s but Tebas bullishly predicts they will secure parity within a decade.
La Liga believes they can close the revenue gap with the Premier League in the next 10 years
Premier League earns about 40 per cent a year more than La Liga’s £1.7billion TV revenues
‘I have no doubt that within 10 years we will practically be equal to the Premier League or at least within 10 per cent,’ he said at the opening of a La Liga office in Brussels.
‘On an international level there is less of a difference, but that’s our main objective — to get closer to the Premier League.
La Liga, which already dominates in Latin America, has now set its sights on gaining ground in key markets China, India and the United States, with another eye focused on Africa.
In the past four years, it has set up offices in Shanghai, Delhi, New York, Johannesburg and Dubai and had representatives in over 40 countries.
It has also changed the times of fixtures, so that one match was played earlier to catch viewers in Asia and one late on Sunday for an audience in the Americas.
Tebas said La Liga’s biggest advantage relative to the Premier League is the quality of its clubs and players.
Tebas said La Liga’s biggest advantage over the Premier League is the quality of its players
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo have won the Ballon d’Or for world’s best player for the past nine years and their clubs the Champions League for the past four years, with Atletico Madrid also in the final twice.
‘This is an aspect we’re working on. We didn’t have a strategy before,’ Tebas said.
La Liga is also looking into the possibility of playing one or two of its 380 matches per season outside Spain, noting the success of a pre-season Barcelona-Real Madrid game in Miami in July.
‘We are thinking about it. The first match abroad would probably be in the United States,’ Tebas said, adding he hoped a first such match could take place within two years.
Tebas is concerned about what he calls ‘state-owned’ clubs such as PSG skewing the market
While La Liga dreams of greater foreign riches, Tebas expressed concern that competition in Europe was being skewed by what he called state-owned clubs, singling out Qatar-owned Paris Saint-Germain.
Tebas said the French club could not have paid the world-record €222m fee to buy Neymar from Barcelona with their own funds, with state capital distorting the market.
If European governing body UEFA did not take measures by the end of 2017, Tebas said La Liga would address its complaint to the European Commission, which governs competition issues across the bloc.