La Liga’s Ultimate Xpert a ‘roaring success’

La Liga has declared the first edition of La Liga’s Ultimate Xpert a ‘roaring success’ after the first round of the new quiz competition was held in early December.

The competition will be held on 20 matchdays over the course of the rest of the season and sees fans use their La Liga knowledge to compete to win prizes such as official shirts and footballs.

La Liga Ultimate Xpert contests are run in conjunction with La Liga broadcast rights holders across the world.

Each contest focuses on one of the 20 different La Liga clubs, with questions asked by La Liga figures including current players and La Liga ambassadors.

The winners of the Ultimate Xpert competition in each region could win a trip to Spain and an exclusive football experience as part of the LaLiga Experience 2021/22.

Australian supporters can participate in the competition via local broadcaster beIN Sports – details on how to participate are released via beIN Sports Australia’s social media channels and the beIN Sport’s ‘Early Kick Off’ show every Friday.

“The format of the competition has been designed in a way that will promote traffic to broadcasters’ websites, digital platforms and social media accounts and that will boost engagement on such platforms,” La Liga said.

“A priority for LaLiga is to maintain close relationships and collaboration with its broadcast partners to help them maximise the value of their rights and this is just the latest example.”

In further La Liga news, the league’s president Javier Tebas has revealed that the organisation is working on a 10-year plan that focuses on the growth of the league.

“I think over these next 10 years, the most important thing for us will be the digital ecosystem,” he said during an interview at the World Football Summit Live in late November.

“There’s already an understanding of what’s coming with regards to audiovisual rights, to technology and to over-the-top (OTT) platforms, which are here to stay. All of this means there’s a need to make plans for a long-term period of transition.”

“We’ve been working on our digital ecosystem for several years and have invested a lot of money in this, in the likes of OTT and anti-piracy.”

Tebas also said the La Liga was working on a La Liga version of the NBA League Pass, a digital subscription which gives fan access to every match.

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Daniel Foley is a sports junior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and micro industry matters.

Sport and Recreation Events Funding Program a key investment in Western Australia

Western Australia events are receiving significant support through the Sport and Recreation Events Funding Program 2023-24.

The WA State Government has invested over $630,000 to a host of sporting bodies across a vast number of codes.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • build capacity and capability of the sport and recreation workforce and volunteers to plan, secure and/or deliver quality sport and active recreation events
  • provide opportunities for talented WA athletes, coaches and officials to participate at a national and/or international level in their home environment
  • provide opportunities for the public to participate in sport and/or active recreation events
  • provide opportunities for regional Western Australians to experience and conduct major sporting events and sport development initiatives in a regional location.

The program comprises three categories:

  • event projects (up to $15,000)
  • event hosting (up to $50,000)
  • the Country Sport Enrichment Scheme (up to $30,000).

In Round 1 of the Sport and Recreation Events Funding Program 2023-24, one of the successful applicants was Football West, who ran 2024 Goldfields Regional Festival of Football – a seven-day community engagement event that improved football capacity in the wider Goldfields area. After receiving $24,200, Football West’s main goal is to increase participation in the region.

There is still time to apply for the next round of funding, which closes 5:00pm on February 26, 2024.

For full information and eligibility to apply, you can find it here.

WSL eyeing enormous 150% increase to broadcast rights deal

In a historic first for football in the UK, every single Women’s Super League match is set to be broadcasted live from next season across multiple channels.

The WSL tender document issued to broadcasters this month features all 132 league games, with 56 to be sold exclusively and the remaining 76 available on a non-exclusive basis.

Under the terms of the existing deal that expires at the end of the current season, Sky broadcast 35 matches-a-season and the BBC 22, with the rest streamed for free on the FA’s website.

The tender document is asking for a huge £20 million ($38.48 million) a year TV deal and this 150% increase to the value of its broadcasting deal is far from surprising following the explosion of the women’s game. This figure is set to be confirmed as soon as they can find the right suitors.

In an attempt to gain an increase from the existing £7.75 million ($14.91 million) a year deal, the WSL have responded by making every match available for broadcast, which the league hoped would attract bids from beyond current rights holders Sky Sports and the BBC, It looks to be working.

Sky Sports and the BBC are set to bid again on the rights and extend the current partnership whilst it is said that this potential deal is also attracting networks like TNT Sports and DAZN.

The Premier League and EFL have stood firm on the UEFA blackout that suggests all 3pm Saturday matches are not shown on TV, to encourage locals to attend matches in person. This means the WSL will have to work around it and it is likely that Saturday lunchtime and Sunday afternoons remain as the most common kick-off times.

There is little the WSL are having to do to persuade broadcasters into putting their hands up for these rights, which is a testament to the sport’s current growth and upward trajectory it is trending towards.

FA Director of Women’s football, Kelly Simmons, explained how important it was to secure this monumental broadcast deal.

“While we’ve been developing this it’s been so hard to sit on it because it’s so exciting for the women’s game. It is transformational,” Simmons said in an interview with Guardian Sport.

“When I first came into this role, we said that we really thought women’s football could really break into the mainstream and this is mainstream, this is prime slots on television, big audiences, week in week out.”

This deal in particular launches women’s football into the mainstream and helps improve the quality of the product which goes a long way to opening the eyes of a huge audience to its impact as a sport and socially.

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