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Mercados

Spanish soccer league's TV ad revenue rises as fans watch remotely

MADRID, Sept 4 (Reuters) - The Spanish soccer league’s TV advertising revenues for this season are up 20% from the previous season, its director for international development said on Friday, as fans unable to attend live matches watch on TV, boosting audiences worldwide.

Spain’s La Liga has secured revenues from short ads and sponsorships worth 110 million euros ($130 million) for the 2020-2021 season, said Oscar Mayo, La Liga’s International Development Director, on Friday.

“With strong viewership, companies keep us in their communication and marketing plans, even though they cut spending overall,” Mayo said.

Revenues from Liga’s ads - short video snippets before game transmissions start, logos aired during interruptions and billboards modified by computers to show different brands in different regions - come on top of broadcasting rights due to reach 2.1 billion euros this year.

TV audiences for soccer have shot up as more people stay at home during the pandemic. The top-flight Spanish leagues, with stars such as Argentinian striker Lionel Messi and Croat midfielder Luka Modric, are a big pull for viewers globally.

Average TV audience for Spanish games rose 48% when the championship resumed after a lockdown imposed in mid-March, with peaks of triple-digit increases in countries such as Belgium and South Africa.

La Liga has signed an advertising contract with betting and casino company M88 in Asia, oil company Total in Argentina, Orange in the Middle East and Africa and renewed a contract in the United States with Verizon, Mayo said.

More than 40% of La Liga’s ad revenues will come from outside Spain this season, he said, up from 8% five years ago.

The TV rights of the Spanish soccer league have also sky-rocketed over recent years, as they were worth about 800 million euros eight years ago.

La Liga distributes all its profits to the soccer teams that comprise it. The increased revenues from La Liga’s ads and sponsorships won’t outweigh the clubs’ drop in revenues from stadium tickets, bars and restaurants.

$1 = 0.8442 euros Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Mark Potter

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