Eleven Sports, the company that holds the UK broadcasting rights for La Liga and Serie A, is reportedly at risk of closing its UK operations following concerns over mounting losses.

The online streaming service purchased the broadcasting rights to Spanish and Italian football, among other leagues, and began streaming in August with the hope that a pay-TV company like Sky, Virgin or BT would distribute it on their channels.

The Independent understands that Eleven Sports is renegotiating deals with its partners to show online only coverage (OTT) instead of its exclusive all-platform agreement in the UK, which will allow leagues to offer broadcast rights to pay-TV companies.


A report in the Telegraph says that Eleven Sports could pull out of the UK market following UFC’s decision to trigger an exit clause on an exclusive deal that was due to begin in January. The deal hinged on whether Sky, Vigrin or BT showed Eleven Sports on their channels.


Sky and BT have chosen not to show their rival’s coverage on their network and talks between Eleven Sports and Virgin broke down a month ago.

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The Telegraph also claims that only 50,000 subscriptions at £5.99 a month have been sold, which delivers a monthly income of less than £300,000.

Controlled by Leeds owner Andrea Radizzani, Eleven Sports has found success in Italy and Portugal but is not making the same impression on the British market four months into its first foray.

An Eleven Sports spokesman said: “Without carriage agreements with the existing platforms, alongside the challenges posed by rampant piracy, the current market dynamics in the UK and Ireland are very hostile for new entrants.

“We are in discussions with our rights partners, La Liga and IMG, about how we can restructure our existing agreements in order to continue our current OTT [streaming] service.”

In October Eleven Sports backed down on their stance of broadcasting matches live for UK viewers during the Saturday afternoon blackout and said the market remains in the hands of ‘criminals’ if the current format continues.

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A 70-year-old rule in England prevents football from being screened live between 2:45pm and 5:15pm to encourage supporters to attend matches or take part in local football, but Eleven Sports twice showed La Liga matches during this time and broke Uefa’s article 48 that bans it.

The Premier League protested to the FA over the blackout breach and Eleven Sports backed down, despite their stance being supported by La Liga.

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