Friday Jun 19, 2020. 17:00
LaLiga Santander increased its international viewing figures by more than 48% on the first matchday (Matchday 28) following the restart of the league on June 11 compared to the average for the first 27 matchdays prior to the forced suspension of the Spanish league due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to international consultants Nielsen Sports, and based on the preliminary official viewing figures and estimates by the firm, international audiences during live games on Matchday 28 registered exponential growth.
In some regions of the world, extremely sharp increases in the viewing figures were achieved on the first day following the restart. For example, in Africa there was a rise of over 73%, and in countries such as South Africa the increase amounted to more than 210%. These figures demonstrates that Africa’s love for the Spanish league has seen an upward trajectory, with one of the reasons being the high number of African stars – 48 in total – currently plying their trade in the both LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank, together with LaLiga’s ever growing presence on Africa’s soil.
Marcos Pelegrin, LaLiga Managing Director in South Africa cited one of the increase in Africa and South Africa to the LaLiga’s broadcaster SuperSport being available to Africans in every corner of the continent. “We are exceptionally pleased with the increase in viewers in Africa as this was one of the objectives we set out when we opened local offices in 2015 as well as brought back the football action to SuperSport a few season ago.”
While LaLiga was off the screens LaLiga South Africa ran a total of 9 activations more than any other region to create hype around the return of the league in addition to keeping the football action top of mind for all fans. “During the half in football action, as LaLiga African we created campaigns like the #LaLigaBouncesBack challenge with PUMA that featured local players, the FIFA20 competition with Real Sociedad and Orlando Pirates which opened up local fans to teams outside of the top three and ultimately gained us more fans and viewers”, added Pelegrin.
In Asian countries such as India, where LaLiga is broadcast on Facebook, an increase of over 72% was detected. In Europe, the uptick was over 56%, with countries such as Belgium (an increase of over 130%) and Denmark (an increase of over 46%) of particular note.
“At Liga we feel privileged to be able to take to the field again, and we’re very happy to have the opportunity to offer live sports entertainment at a time when there are few events like this around the world. We hope that other competitions in other regions will also start soon, because it’s important for the fans and the industry,” said LaLiga president Javier Tebas. “We’re grateful to all of the fans who’ve followed LaLiga now at the restart, because we’ve all worked hard to offer them entertainment again.”
Oscar Mayo, LaLiga’s director of business, marketing, and international development, added: “We’re very pleased with the exponential growth in the figures for LaLiga’s international audience. We knew that fans around the world were keen to enjoy the excitement and entertainment we offer. Achieving a rise of almost 50% in our international audience is a reflection of the hard work put in by our international broadcasters, the clubs and the competition itself over these last few months.”
Growth in Spain
In addition to the exponential growth in LaLiga’s international audiences, LaLiga also experienced an increase in viewing figures in its home country, Spain. The official figures show an increase in Spanish viewers of over 12% during the first matchday back compared to those before the league was suspended.