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Facebook, La Liga sign deal for Indian subcontinent

Spanish soccer league La Liga has tapped Facebook Inc. to stream free-to-air matches over the next three seasons to viewers in the Indian subcontinent, Reuters reported, citing a statement.

Facebook will live-stream all 380 matches in La Liga's upcoming season for free to viewers in India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, beginning Aug. 17.

The matches will be initially aired without any ads, although Facebook may eventually replicate trials of live content ads in the U.S. on its La Liga coverage.

Facebook has won the rights from Sony Corp. unit Sony Pictures Network, which reportedly paid $32 million for the rights covering the 2014-2018 period.

The deal, financial details of which were not disclosed, is the latest in a spate of soccer streaming deals involving U.S. tech companies.

Facebook recently agreed to become Eleven Sports Network Ltd.'s partner for free-to-air broadcasts in the U.K. and Ireland. At least one match per week from La Liga and Italy's Serie A, as well as selected games from other soccer leagues, will be live streamed for free on Eleven Sports' U.K. Facebook page.

In June, Inc. won the rights to exclusively live stream selected Premier League matches in Britain for the 2019-2022 seasons.

Microblogging platform Twitter Inc., meanwhile, agreed to live-stream Major League Soccer games in the U.S. in English as part of a three-year content deal.