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LaLiga retains Saran in Czech Republic and Slovakia in latest five-year deal

Czech Republic's Tomas Vaclik of Sevilla FC during LaLiga Santander match on March 7 (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

The Saran Media agency has held on to LaLiga broadcast rights in the Czech Republic and Slovakia from 2021-22 to 2025-26 in the latest five-year agreement signed by the Spanish top flight.

The Turkey-based agency announced its new agreement today (Friday), acquiring the exclusive live, delayed, highlights and clips rights across all existing platforms, including TV, online and mobile.

Saran has held the rights in the two central European countries since 2015-16. Its initial agreement ran to the end of the 2017-18 season before a three-year deal was struck from 2018-19 to 2020-21.

Saran sold the LaLiga rights on to pay-television broadcaster Digi Sport during the current rights cycle.

The new Saran contract is the latest five-year agreement signed since LaLiga, the governing body for the top two tiers of Spanish domestic football, was given authorisation to sell future broadcast rights in Europe for more than three seasons in amends made to the Royal Decree that governs the sale of centralised rights.

Five-year agreements – also from 2021-22 to 2025-26 – were recently announced with Norwegian commercial and pay-television broadcaster TV2, plus its TV2 namesake in Denmark.

The changes put in place by the Spanish government remove the term limit which imposed the three-year restriction on rights sales in Spain and the rest of the European Union. Earlier this year, the premier League secured a landmark six-year rights deal in the Nordic region (with Nordic Entertainment Group).

In February, LaLiga issued an invitation to tender for the top-tier LaLiga and second-tier LaLiga Smartbank covering 16 territories, including the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The first-round bid deadline was March 16, with LaLiga working with the Barcelona-headquartered Mediapro agency during the tender process.

Successful bidders are required to broadcast a minimum of three live matches per first division match week and weekly broadcasts of LaLiga’s highlights and magazine shows. LaLiga also required that a minimum of one second-division match be broadcast per matchweek as well as its equivalent highlights show.