September 09, 2023

Javier Tebas: "The centralisation of media rights will improve the Portuguese football as a product"

The President of La Liga opened the third day of the TFS Stage by discussing the key issues in Spanish and European football.


A unique talk. That's how we can describe the LaLiga President Javier Tebas’ session this Saturday morning at the TFS Stage, on the third and final day of the Thinking Football Summit 2023.

In a discussion moderated by Marca journalist Jon Prada, the head of Spanish football's organising body began by revealing the key points of his strategic vision. "Consolidating economic control is the key to any competition, as is centralising media rights, which allows us to unify the brand and fight piracy," he began.

"Commercial exploration, sponsorship and support for the clubs are essential, especially for investment in infrastructure, while at the same time promoting the technological development of the competition. We have more than 200 million followers on social media and on digital platforms it's necessary to segment in order to adapt strategies to different audiences," he added.

The topic of centralising media rights in Portugal was also on the agenda, with Javier Tebas warning that it could come sooner rather than later, given the benefits it would bring to the development of Portuguese football.

"It has to happen by the 2027-28 season. Many clubs will be grateful, but they will have to decide on the best division because it will always be a source of tension. However, it's necessary to implement a strategy that anticipates, if possible, the implementation of the Portuguese league. There are still some issues to be resolved, but it's important to start as soon as possible in order to improve the product and for the good of professional football in Portugal," he explained, reiterating his thoughts on one of the most controversial issues of the day:

"Sport TV is the majority shareholder of the product, so there is no competition, which leads to a certain distortion of this reality, something that harms the growth of the Portuguese league. With the centralisation of media rights, there will be new operators and new platforms, such as OTTs, which will contribute to its development and, by definition, help the clubs financially".

Moreover, the LaLiga president gave a true masterclass this morning at the TFS stage and went on to explain the innovations he has implemented in the competition. "We have 18 clubs and they've all had to modernise in order to have cameras in the dressing rooms, half-time interviews with the players or other content that appeals to the public. We have to reinvent ourselves to please people, give them content they've never seen before and allow the fans to be closer to their club," he said, looking to the future of LaLiga over the next decade:

"We will see all the investments in technology. We're currently the competition that is working the hardest on revolutionary products in the world of sport and that will put us at the forefront, especially in terms of audiovisuals and interaction with fans. We'll be better than the other competitions, but also better than our clubs, because that's who we work for.

Finally, Javier Tebas also commented on the current state of Spanish football, admitting that "as we all know, it's going through a crisis" and that it is now necessary to "make decisions that are not comfortable". However, the LaLiga President believes that this will only be for a short time, revealing that it is necessary to "get out of a position of comfort in order to overcome this not-so-good moment".