Opening Weekend Sees LaLiga Grace U.S. Broadcast TV For First Time Ever

Back in early May, ESPN announced that it had acquired English and Spanish-language rights for LaLiga on an eight-year deal, meaning that Spain’s top division was moving from the notoriously lacking beIN SPORTS to having every match available live on the ESPN+ streaming service.

It’s a massive move in terms of both affordability (ESPN+ will cost $6.99 per month beginning Aug. 13) and accessibility. Not only will every LaLiga game be available live and through on-demand replay, matches will grace the ESPN family of broadcast channels (ABC, ESPN and ESPN2).

The 2021-22 season begins with opening weekend on Aug. 13-16. The first-ever match under the new deal is the lone fixture on Friday, Aug. 13: Valencia vs. Getafe at the Mestalla. That game will be on ESPN+, as well as Saturday’s match between Real Madrid and Alavés at the Mendizorrotza and Sunday’s fixture between defending champion Atlético Madrid and Celta Vigo at the Balaídos.

But the match of the weekend stateside will undoubtedly be Barcelona hosting Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou on Sunday, Aug. 15. ABC will broadcast that fixture — including a 30-minute pregame show beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET — meaning that for the first time ever, LaLiga is on U.S. broadcast television. Spanish-language coverage will be provided by ESPN Deportes.

It’ll be an awesome experience for viewers: the Camp Nou, a meeting between third and fifth from last season, Lionel Messi, Frenkie de Jong, Alexander Isak and Mikel Oyarzabal. 

According to World Soccer Talk, ESPN+ will also be providing an archive of classic matches, as well as number of shows produced by the league, including Pre-Season LaLiga, LaLiga World, LaLiga Show and LaLiga Highlights Show.


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