The Electronic Arts Inc. logo is displayed on a screen in New York City. File picture: Reuters/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
The Electronic Arts Inc. logo is displayed on a screen in New York City. File picture: Reuters/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

EA extends partnership with Spain's La Liga for exclusive FIFA rights

By Ayanti Bera Time of article published Jun 24, 2020

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Electronic Arts Inc on Wednesday extended its licensing contract with La Liga until 2030, allowing the video game maker to retain exclusive access to the Spanish top-tier soccer league for its flagship football franchise "FIFA".

The 10-year agreement is the longest renewal in the history of the company's partnership with La Liga, EA told Reuters, but did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

EA's sports division, which also includes "Madden NFL" and "NBA Live", thrives on licensing deals with sports leagues that allow exclusive use of the brand, its players and stadiums, in the company's games.

Since it resumed matches on June 11, La Liga has been using virtual images of stands in television broadcasts with added "fan audio" produced by EA, in order to make the matches in empty stadiums more appealing to viewers.

president Javier Tebas has outlined La Liga’ plans to offer viewers the chance to hear virtual crowd noise during the matches, which will be played without supporters to prevent further spread of the virus.

“At a meeting of the contact group they form alongside the CSD, the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) and La Liga have agreed to the format of the final 11 rounds of fixtures of La Liga and the second division,” said the CSD’s statement.

The statement added that the season would finish by July 18, “depending on the evolution of the virus”.

Daily active players for "FIFA 20" have reached an all-time high, the company said, getting a boost from sports fans and players that have been forced to stay at home due to the coronavirus-related restrictions.

Viewership for "FIFA" on video game streaming platform Twitch surged 260% in May, compared to a year earlier, EA said.

"FIFA" allows users to choose between different leagues and the various clubs within the leagues. Spain's La Liga includes popular clubs such as FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, among others.

Besides La Liga, EA also has exclusive rights to England's Premier League and Germany's Bundesliga. 

Reuters

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