How to watch Real Madrid, Barcelona & La Liga in the UK in 2019-20

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Fans of the Primera Division are set to be disappointed as no deal is currently in place to show the Spanish top flight - but that may change

Barcelona will open up their defence of the Spanish title on Friday, August 16 when they travel to Athletic Bilbao for the opening fixture of the Primera Division season.

Once the Catalans have played, it will be Real Madrid’s turn on Saturday when they go to Celta Vigo, while last season’s runners-up, Atletico Madrid, are the final team to take to the field on the opening weekend as they face Getafe.

But how will it be possible to watch the exploits of stars such as Lionel Messi, Eden Hazard and Joao Felix in the UK this season?

The short answer is that, at present, there is no television or streaming deal in place to allow fans in the UK to watch fixtures from the Spanish top flight legally.

Last season, Eleven Sports were surprisingly given the deal to stream matches from the division via their channels but ceased to function in the early part of the year due to a lack of interest. As such, a deal was subsequently struck so that matches were broadcast on Premier Sports and ITV4.

This time around, there has not been what the Spanish league and its intermediaries deem to be a satisfactory bid having arrived from the UK.

The process for bidding was a strange one, as the Spanish league only opened the tender a few weeks before the season was due to start, while they had not even decided if there would be Friday and Monday night matches on the calendar over the coming campaign.

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It is, however, still possible that a company picks up the rights for the matches midway through the season, although that is likely to take movement from the Spanish side, as Sky were reportedly nonplussed by the lack of subscriptions they lost following the move for La Liga to Eleven Sports last summer. As such, they are unlikely to change their bidding tactics.

Amazon appear to the be the company likeliest to scoop up the rights to show the fixtures, although as yet they have made no concrete progress on securing rights.

Until someone makes a positive move, Barcelona, Real and Atletico will remain away from UK screens.