Football fans face <i>La Liga</i> blackout
Football fans in Bangladesh will be left cursing their luck after popular satellite sports channel ESPN-STAR SPORTS (ESS) confirmed that they would not be broadcasting the Spanish Primera Liga in the sub-continent this season.
ESS, which has held the media rights of the Spanish League since the time the network launched, seems to have decided that with a packed sports calendar, it can manage its programming inventory without action from, what is now presumed to be, the most high-profile league in the world.
It will mean that fans across the country will miss out on the exploits of Lionel Messi, Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in what is set to be a landmark season in Spanish football.
ESS has been paying about $1 million a year for the La Liga rights. But the deal, which was up for renewal this year, reached a deadlock when La Liga hiked up the price due to its new-found star value.
ESS backed out of the deal because it meant no sense to pay such high premiums for a property that is to be aired late at night, an industry insider stated.
The state of affairs now mean that SuperSports is theonly channel which will bring live coverage of La Liga in the sub-continent.
But with the free-to-air channel on the wrong end of a government ban in Bangladesh, most viewers will have to deal with the blackout unless some late intervention is made swiftly.
ESS also holds the media rights for the English Premier League, which is due for renewal next year. According to sources, ESS had acquired three-year rights to the EPL for $13.5 million.