New Delhi: LaLiga is not considering the possibility of getting back on televisions in India, the league’s managing director for India Jose Cachaza said on Wednesday. With Sony Pictures Network ending its LaLiga broadcast partnership with Facebook for India in August, the league has been available for streaming solely on the social media platform this season.
“We are happy with our relationship with Facebook. We are convinced that is the way to go. So we are not thinking at all into that,” he said. Cachaza says that while it took some time to lift off, the response they have got thus far has been positive. “At first this transition was kind of a shock for the fans. I am one of those who like to sit with a remote so I understand what this means for many people. But it has been good, audience figures are growing week after week. Engagement and interaction is an important part of digital — we have Joe Morrison in the studio and how fans interact with him, its been really great. So I think we are in the right direction,” he said.
He also said that breaking the duopoly of Real Madrid and Barcelona in LaLiga has also gone a long way in promoting the league in international markets.
“We always say that we don’t need to feel ashamed nor apologise for having the two biggest clubs in the world. But it is important we have a healthy competition. So suddenly people look at other clubs with a totally different eye. Not just the ones that are already there like Atletico or Sevilla but also others that never played international competitions like Leganes or Eibar. These clubs now have the potential to have a more international image of themselves. That’s really important,” Jose Cachaza told IANS on Wednesday.
Barcelona and Real Madrid have won the overwhelming majority of the titles in the history of the 90-year-old league. Valencia and Atletico Madrid are the only other clubs to win the title in the 21st century and while Valencia did it twice — in 2001/02 and 2003/04, Atletico have won only once.
However, the 2019/20 season of the Spanish top flight has been an unusually competitive one. As of November 13, only two points separate top placed Barcelona from fifth-placed Real Sociedad, although the Barca and second placed Real have a game in hand on the rest of the chasing pack.
“When you have such a balanced competition, it makes matches more interesting. We have had some seasons where the question was not who will compete but how many goals Madrid or Barca will score or will they reach 100 points. That is out of the question today and that helps the fans to take matches with a different attitude. You take last Saturday when Madrid won at Eibarm, it was seen as a huge victory whereas a few years ago it would just be routine,” he said.
BY ROHIT MUNDAYUR