With the start of the Spanish football season still a few weeks away there's an interesting bidding war brewing between Sky and ESPN for the all-star outstanding non-Premiership football rights to beat them all. With Real Madrid and Barcelona being pretty much essential viewing to all but the most casual of footie fans, the current lack of a deal for broadcasting La Liga in the UK is perplexing and likely to go to the wire.
Will ESPN grab this and become the place for European football coverage, or will Sky regain what for my mind is the best football in the world? So far the two have been pretty amicable since the demise of Setanta, but word is that Sky are not happy with the deal ESPN has struck with Virgin and this could turn nasty. For the VM viewer, the preference I guess would be for ESPN, especially if the new season is broadcast in HD for the first time here. In fact, Sky has only shown La Liga in 4:3 ratio to date, so pretty much anything will be an improvement over that and the dodgy pictures we had last season some Sunday evenings.
(More details over on Digital Spy, btw.)
UPDATED: August 25th. Sky Sports has secured an exclusive three-year TV rights deal to broadcast live matches from La Liga in Spain.
Under the arrangement, Sky Sports will show at least two live matches every weekend, but no word as to whether it will be in widescreen or not.