La Liga becomes first top European league to take regular-season games to United States with landmark 15-year deal


The successor to Richard Scudamore as Premier League chief executive will come under pressure from the 20 clubs to investigate ways of staging competitive league games overseas, after La Liga in Spain became the first of Europe’s top five leagues to announce it would do so.

As it stands the Premier League has no immediate plans to follow its Spanish counterpart and stage selected single league games outside the country – announced on Thursday by Liga officials as part of a major push to give its competition a greater profile in North America. Nevertheless, Scudamore’s successor will have to be mindful of the competition given that international rights are the major area of growth for broadcast revenue when the league next goes to market for 2022-2025.

The Spanish Liga has agreed to stage competitive games overseas as part of a 15-year deal that will take their teams to the United States and Canada. There were no details as to when the first game would be played outside Spain, or how many, but the next Spanish football television deal runs from 2019 to 2022 so it could well be within that cycle.

Scudamore, who will quit later this year, ruled out the possibility of moving competitive matches overseas when he announced his departure at the end of last season. With demand from Premier League club owners for increased broadcast revenue there will be pressure to keep their league as the world’s pre-eminent competition and not be seen to fall behind. 

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