FC Barcelona vice-captain Gerard Pique.
FC Barcelona’s Gerard Pique has decided to purchase broadcasting rights for France’s top-tier Ligue 1 in Spain. The rights have reportedly been bought under Kosmos Holdings, a company that the vice-captain of Barcelona owns. The deal for the broadcast is for three years.
Pique’s involvement in such a venture can interestingly be accredited to his long-term friendship with former Barcelona captain Lionel Messi. The Argentine’s move to Paris Saint-Germain will ensure many new eyeballs land in Ligue 1. Broadcasting rights have been purchased exclusively for Spain ahead of Messi’s much-anticipated potential debut this Sunday.
According to ESPN, the debut will be streamed for free over Twitch’s online platform. Reims will be hosting PSG at the Stade Auguste-Delaune II at 20:45 CEST and the match will be made available through Spanish streamer Ibai Llanos’ Twitch channel. Apart from this, Spanish television channel Telecinco also holds the right to telecast PSG matches.
Pique’s company, Kosmos, has obtained the rights in collaboration with Enjoy TV and plans to eventually sublet the acquisition to an OTT platform or a TV channel. Last year, Movistar had the legal rights to Ligue 1. The company refused to renew after being asked to pay less than €2.5 million annually for continuation.
“The number of ticket requests is exceptional, it is difficult to quantify. And we had some pretty incredible sales through the online ticket office, with purchases coming from all over the world, from Chile, South Korea, Thailand, Egypt or India,” Alexandre Jeannin, Reims’ ticket office manager said (via H/T Marca).
Things changed quite dynamically for the French top-flight when Messi opted to join PSG from Barcelona. The broadcasting rights for Ligue 1 have grown substantially over the past few weeks and the valuation of the league has grown as a whole. Messi has currently settled in well with his new side, having partaken in several robust training sessions.
Other ventures of Barcelona vice-captain Gerard Pique
It’s not the first time that Pique has done something for this friendship. Through Kosmos, Pique was the brains behind telecasting the Copa America 2021 final in Spain. It was in that match that Messi won his first prestigious piece of silverware at a senior level for Argentina. The final between Brazil and Argentina was also broadcast via Llanos’ Twitch stream.
Alongside this, Pique and Kosmos have also recently invested in Italy’s Serie B telecasting rights in Spain and a few other nations. A Spanish club called FC Andorra, which plays in the Primera División RFEF in the third tier, is also owned by the Barcelona star. Being an ardent fan of tennis, Pique has helped refurbish the prestigious Davis Cup by helping its coverage through Kosmos as well.