Barca TV Lands in U.S.

Starting in the first quarter of 2008, U.S. soccer enthusiasts will be able to access content in English or Spanish from FC Barcelona, one of Spain’s most popular brands, on television, broadband and mobile phones. The property, which is the international feed for Barça TV, will be made available in the United States by New York-based Schramm Sports & Entertainment, who acquired these rights from sports powerhouse IMGWorld.

“This is one of those rare opportunities advertisers currently have with a sports sponsorship that spans multiple video platforms,” said Schramm Sports & Entertainment president Joe Schramm. Through the partnership, Schramm said it will be able to deliver fresh content through several platforms, including syndicated TV, video-on-demand, online video and mobile phone.

Distribution and sponsorships will be handled through Global Sports Partner, a recently launched company, which will manage the TV property and seek additional rights and investment opportunities. “We needed to form a separate entity since this media enterprise is a diversion from our company’s traditional role in marketing to segmented audiences,” said Schramm.

The programming will include a delayed telecast of the most recent match, in addition to highlights and interviews. Each week, up to six hours of new content will be introduced via cable TV on-demand platforms and online video.