La Liga ties up with Microsoft to digitally transform football

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On Wednesday, LaLiga, Spain’s premier football league, and Microsoft Corporation announced an extension of their relationship aimed at digitally transforming the global sports experience. Microsoft, which joined LaLiga as a partner in 2016, will now become a Global Partner under the new agreement.

With data-enhanced match coverage, next-generation over-the-top (OTT) streaming platforms, automated content security services, and venue management systems, the new deal will concentrate on developing creative technology solutions for the sports industry to improve the fan engagement experience.

The league sees the partnership as critical to the growth and advancement of LaLiga Software, which will package the league’s entire suite of existing technologies into a commercial product for the sports industry. Match-day stats and analytics will be included, as well as the next generation of OTT streaming platforms, content security services, and venue access management systems.

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Microsoft will help build new and leverage existing technologies that will accelerate progress in the sports industry as LaLiga’ s global Tech and Innovation Partner. Azure Event Hubs, Azure Data Lake, Azure Databricks, and Azure Machine Learning will provide data-enhanced match streaming, customized OTT viewing options, and camera angle selection in matches for football fans. New experiences such as AR, VR, and 3-D replays will be available in LaLiga.

Azure Machine learning will allow an enhanced OTT streaming platform with personalized recommendations and enhanced interactions with relevant content, games, and services for rights holders, broadcasters, and commercial partners using Azure, Power BI, Dynamics 365, Azure Cosmos DB, and SQL Database,

Power BI and Azure will simplify stadium operations for venue administrators by incorporating security technologies and leveraging 5G for unified in-stadium experiences. The latest contract with the tech giant from the United States comes less than a week after the league signed an eight-year US television rights deal with Disney ESPN worth $175 million per season.

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LaLiga’ s chief, Javier Tebas, said, “We are moving into a new era in which technology will become the central point of the fan experience and data insights will power the next stage of global growth.”

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