While Spanish pay-TV usually commands Europe's most expensive prices for football content, this season's new scenario – with more convergent players and a different rights management model – has seen prices lowered, now ranking among the continent's cheapest.
According to research from comparison site Comparaiso.es, a Spanish package with Internet, phone and pay-TV including all the football programming costs €46.05 on average per month. Europe's average price is €66 and the most expensive country is Portugal, with an average subscription of €76.38.
But the largest difference are in the reduced pay-TV packages. Currently, it's possible to subscribe, due to seasonal promotions, to all the football content for €6 (last year the same channels cost €35.45 per month), while in Europe the average price is €30.41 per month. France is the most expensive country regarding football-themed channels, with an average subscription of €46.40 per month.
One of the key factors for the fall in prices seems to be convergence, as telcos are using pay-TV and premium content as a hook for packaged triple- and quad-play offers.
The flip side to this is that non-packaged offers becomes expensive. If a subscriber tries to pay for football through a cable or IPTV provider without also paying for broadband connection, the price rockets.
"It's remarkable Spain has moved from being Europe's most expensive country for watching football to being the cheapest," said Alicia Navas, director, Comparaiso.es. "But in areas with poorer coverage not all the offers or every channel are available. Depending on where the fans are living they might be forced to pay more than fans living in the bigger cities".