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Clasico scheduled to challenge Premier League for lucrative US, Far East markets

The first Clasico of the season between Barcelona and Real Madrid has been scheduled for December 3 at 16:15CET, LaLiga president Javier Tebas has confirmed.

The match at Camp Nou has been timed so as many people as possible from the lucrative Far East and United States television markets can watch.

Tebas says the time slot was chosen despite the fact that viewers in the United Kingdom will be unable to tune in, due to an embargo on live television coverage for matches at that time.

The Clasico is therefore set to compete with the multi-million-spinning coverage of Premier League matches featuring Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and champions Leicester City, all of whom are due to kick off games at 16:00CET on the same day.

“The Barcelona and Real Madrid game will be played on Saturday at 4:15 p.m,” Tebas told Cadena Ser. “The game will not be aired in England because of the TV embargo that’s in place at that time.

“We had three windows we had considered: 1 p.m., 4:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. We analysed those with our audiovisual team and playing at 6 p.m. is too late in Asia, while to play at 1 p.m. is too early for the American market.”

LaLiga have made a number of changes to traditional game times this season, with 22:00CET kick-offs removed from the calendar largely due to complaints from clubs and supporter groups over travel issues.

Tebas admits that the alterations have been made with foreign markets in mind, and says that financial the benefits are already being felt.

“I look at other leagues when setting the timetable,” he said. “The timetable is a strategy we have been working on in recent years and the results are there.

“Our international sales have tripled because of it, and the quality of the players we have in our league is better.

“We are continuously looking at ways that we can improve our product. For example, we have installed aerial cameras in seven venues and, by the end of the season, we will have it in three more.”

Wed 12 Oct, 2016
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