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ESPN reach historic rights agreement with LaLiga

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US sports broadcaster ESPN have announced an expansive, long-term agreement that will make ESPN+ the new English and Spanish language home for LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank in the United States for the next eight seasons (through to season 2028-29).

The deal begins in August and will see coverage of hundreds of live matches across both leagues, available each year exclusively on ESPN+. ESPN is currently the home of the Spanish Copa del Rey, Copa de la Reina and Supercopa de España, along with the Bundesliga, MLS, England’s FA Cup, EFL & Carabao Cup, Dutch Eredivisie, Scottish Premiership, UEFA National Team Football, USL and much more.

The significance of the partnership means it will strengthen the link between American football fans and LaLiga, which houses many exceptional players of the modern era.

Burke Magnus, Executive Vice President, Programming & Original Content, ESPN:

“This agreement will bring the excitement, passion, iconic clubs and global superstars of LaLiga to U.S. sports fans with unprecedented access and coverage.”

“As the sport of soccer continues its ascendance in the U.S. market, we are incredibly excited to work with LaLiga to establish a deeper connection to American fans through our company’s industry-leading streaming platforms, television networks, and digital and social media assets.”

LaLiga President Javier Tebas:

“We are absolutely thrilled to bring LaLiga to ESPN in the U.S.”

“This is an historic eight-season agreement in U.S. soccer broadcasting that speaks to the power of LaLiga and its clubs in the largest media market in the world and will bring the world’s best soccer league to American screens in a more comprehensive and modern way than ever before.”

Executive Vice President and GM at ESPN+, Russell Wolff:

“This agreement creates a true home for LaLiga in the U.S. for years to come and cements ESPN+ as the premier platform for soccer. We’re excited to showcase the brilliance of LaLiga in our English and Spanish coverage for the growing legion of soccer fans and ESPN+ subscribers.”

CEO of North America, LaLiga, Boris Gartner:

“Partnering with ESPN will allow us to have unique LaLiga programming across ESPN+ and ESPN’s network and digital platforms, super-serving existing fans and introducing new consumers to the drama and passion of LaLiga.”

“The league, clubs, and players will be as close to the American fans as they’ve ever been at a time where soccer is growing leaps and bounds in the U.S.”

The deal also includes rights for Canada. TSN and RDS, Canada’s leading sports networks, will deliver comprehensive coverage of LaLiga matches, highlights, and news to Canadian viewers through multiple platforms.

DFL and AWS introduce two new Match Facts to Bundesliga coverage

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The Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have announced the addition of two new Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS that will premiere as graphics during broadcasts and in the official Bundesliga app during the 2021-2022 season.

The two new Match Facts – Shot Efficiency and Passing Profile – will bring the total number of advanced statistics to eight, with each of them aiming to give fans deeper insights into the action on the pitch.

The first of the new advanced stats – Shot Efficiency – compares the number of goals that a player or team has scored with how many goals the player or team should have scored based on the quality of their chances.

The second – Passing Profile – provides deeper insights into the pass quality of a player or an entire team. Both of the stats are generated by gathering and analysing the match feeds from live games in real time as they are streamed into AWS.

Both new stats made their debut during Matchday 4 on the clash between German Champion FC Bayern München and the second-placed team of the previous season RB Leipzig.

The two new Match Facts will better showcase the action on the field – giving fans, coaches, players, and commentators visual support for analysing the decision-making of players and teams.

Andreas Heyden, Executive Vice President of Digital Innovations for DFL Group, was excited to further innovate the matchday experience for viewers based both domestically and internationally.

“Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS allows us to give fans more insight into the game of football, broadcasters more interesting stories to tell and coaches and teams, more data to excel at their game,” he said.

“Last year, the reception for Bundesliga Match Facts around the world was very positive, and we expect through ML and AI to continue to innovate on these analytics to make them even better.

“These two new stats give fans a view into player efficiency that hasn’t been achieved before, and we are just at the beginning of our relationship with AWS. I’m excited to see how technology will continue to evolve the fan experience and the game.”

Football South Australia announce inaugural delivery of AFC/FA ‘A’ Licence

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Football South Australia have announced an exciting opportunity for SA coaches to undertake an AFC/FA ‘A’ Licence in their own state for the first time ever.

The course is a fantastic opportunity for SA’s strong contingent of 90 B Licence holders to be able to elevate their expertise to the next level from the comfort of familiar surroundings.

The Football Australia ‘A’ Licence course is designed to support coaches working with senior players or older youth players in a professional or semi-professional environment where coaches will have three or four training sessions plus a match each week.

Part A will be at the new Summit Sports and Recreation Park in Mount Barker and VALO Football Centre, while Parts B and C will be held at the new State Centre for Football in Gepps Cross in 2022.

Football South Australia can also today announce that registrations are now open for a B Licence, which will take place in January 2021.

Football South Australia CEO Michael Carter was delighted to introduce the new courses for coaches looking to push on in their careers.

“Coach education is an extremely important function of Football South Australia and we are delighted to be hosting an A-License coaching course in Adelaide. For years local coaches have had to travel interstate for the A-License meaning the cost per participant increased,” he said.

“The timing of the course will see components hosted at the soon to be completed State Centre for Football. The headquarters will be an education hub for coaches, referees and players via our pathway programs.”

Coach Education Manager Alec Wilson expressed his excitement for South Australian coaches.

“I am very excited with the announcement of a first-ever A-Licence in SA. This has been a year in the making and something Football South Australia has been wanting to host for a number of years,” he said.

“The announcement is a reward for everyone’s hard work and determination and shows our dedication in providing the best coach education opportunities for the growth of the game.

“To have all three pinnacle courses (A, B and C Licences) at home in our own state is a landmark in coach development and I look forward to seeing our coaches thrive, and in turn, provide better coaching for our players.”

The Football Australia/AFC ‘A’ Licence can be accessed here. Applications close on October 29, 2021.

The Football Australia/AFC ‘B’ Licence can be accessed here. Applications close on December 10, 2021.

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