Barcelona’s Gerard Pique buys Ligue 1 rights in Spain
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique’s company Kosmos Holding has bought the rights to Ligue 1 in Spain for the next three years following Lionel Messi’s move to Paris Saint-Germain, a source has confirmed to ESPN.
Messi’s potential debut will be broadcast unencrypted on the Twitch streaming service this Sunday when PSG travel to Reims. The match will be broadcast on Ibai Llanos, a Spanish streamer and esports commentator.
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Spanish TV channel Telecinco has also paid for the right to broadcast the PSG game this weekend.
Kosmos, which bought the rights in collaboration with Enjoy TV, plans to eventually sub-license them to a television channel or to an OTT.
Messi has yet to play for PSG since joining Barcelona on a free transfer earlier this month. However, after two weeks of training with his new teammates, he is in line to make his first appearance against Reims this weekend.
Movistar previously owned the rights to French football in Spain in a deal worth “less than € 2.5m” per year, sources say, but has declined the possibility of renewing them this season before Messi’s move to France.
Kosmos also bought the rights to the Copa America final this summer. Argentina’s victory over Brazil, which saw Messi win his first senior trophy in international football, was broadcast on Llanos’ Twitch channel.
The company also recently bought the rights to the Italian Serie B in Spain and several other countries.
However, they failed with a bid to acquire 49% of Barca Corporate, a subsidiary of the Catalan club which is home to the Barca Academy project, Barca Innovation Hub, Barca Licensing and Merchandising (BLM) and Barca Studios.
As a league player, the club’s statutes prohibited Pique from taking a stake in the company.
Thanks to Kosmos, Pique has revamped the coverage of the Davis Cup tennis competition in recent years. He also owns Andorra, a football club that plays in the Spanish third division.