New Delhi: Spanish football is indeed the hottest property in world sport, currently. With Spain winning the just concluded 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and the fact that Indian audiences were deprived of La Liga action last season, Essel Group put two and two together. The summation is that we will be witnessing the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, David Villa, Kaka, Andres Iniesta, Golden Ball winner Diego Forlan and Golden Glove winner Iker Casillas live in action when the new Primera Liga season begins next month.
The television broadcast rights distribution isn't an easy cut deal as with the English Premier League. The major difference lies in that the FA does all its promotional work and enters into plum contract with major broadcasters, who then relay that forward to different networks across the world. The problem in Spain are the two big clubs: Real Madrid and Barcelona. They pick and choose their own television deals and their deals are significantly richer than that signed off by the Spanish FA. It all comes down to the division of money, where in England all clubs more or less are given equal shares out of the television pot, it is not so in Spain.
Last year, with Real Madrid breaking all sorts of transfer records, they pitched their television rights quite high in a bid to recover some of the money invested in their Galacticos. It made sense in a business kind of way but was hurtful especially for India's regular Spanish League broadcasters ESPN-Star Sports' liking. The end result was that audiences in this part of the world had to do without their dose of football action from Spain while they could feast their eyes on the leagues in England as well as Italy and Germany (broadcast on Neo Sports). The only chance to witness the La Liga stars was in the Champions League which is televised by Ten Sports in India and Pakistan. Now, by taking this step, Ten Sports has completed the basket of football offered to the Indian audiences especially, who can now pick and choose from all the major European football leagues on any given Saturday and Sunday.
With the coming of Jose Mourinho to Real Madrid just to bring down Barcelona and win back some Champions League pride, this year's La Liga was a spectacle waiting to happen and until recently, fans in this part of the world would have missed out on the biggest club rivalry in the world. Not anymore and that is all the more reason to revel in the Spanish World Cup victory.