(FILES) This file photo taken on June 02, 2017 shows Real Madrid’s Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo arrives at the team’s hotel in Cardiff, south Wales, on June 2, 2017 ahead of the UEFA Champions League final football match between Juventus and Real Madrid in Cardiff on June 3. Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo heads to court on July 30, 2017, accused of evading 14.7 million euros in tax through offshore companies in a country only just emerging from a damaging economic crisis. JAVIER SORIANO / AFP
Cristiano Ronaldo’s debut for Juventus is among a series of games from Serie A and Spain’s La Liga to be broadcast for free on Facebook in the UK and Ireland this season.
UK rights holders Eleven Sports announced on Monday it had reached an agreement with the social media giant that will see at least one live match from both leagues broadcast every week on the network’s own Facebook page.
The deal is just the latest step towards the online sector securing lucrative live football contracts after Amazon secured the rights to show 20 Premier League matches a season for three years in the UK, starting from the 2019/20 season in June.
Five-time World Player of the Year Ronaldo will make his Serie A debut at Chievo on August 18 with Atletico Madrid’s La Liga opener at Valencia two days later and Barcelona’s visit to Valladolid on August 25 also among the matches scheduled for free-to-air viewing.
“This partnership reflects our commitment to helping broadcasters reach new audiences, build their brands and deliver a great viewing experience for sports fans on Facebook,” said Rhys Beer, Facebook’s live sports programming lead for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Last week Eleven Sports, owned by Leeds United chairman Andrea Radrizzani, announced a monthly online subscription for all of its content will cost £5.99 a month or an annual fee of £59.99.
The first two days of golf’s fourth major of the season, the PGA Championship, will also be broadcast for free via the Eleven Sports Facebook page.