Facebook has scored the rights to Spanish soccer league La Liga in India and will make the games available for free via its social media platform.

The company has inked an exclusive three season deal with the Spanish football league, starting with the 2018/19 season, which kicks off this month. It means that fans in India and the Indian subcontinent including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Pakistan will be able to watch the likes of Lionel Messi and Gareth Bale play every week.

The matches will be streamed on the La Liga Facebook page as well as individual club pages and marks the first deal between La Liga and a social media platform.

Peter Hutton, Facebook’s Head of Global Live Sports Programming, said, “As home to the two most-followed sports clubs on Facebook and some of the world’s most iconic footballers, LaLiga has a huge global presence on our platform.

“Its popularity is notably visible in the Indian subcontinent, so we’re delighted to be able to serve the community of fans there with free, live La Liga matches for the next three seasons. We see this as a great opportunity to not only bring people together around world-class football, but also help La Liga reach new audiences and grow its visibility in a key development market.”

La Liga President Javier Tebas added, “We are thrilled to team up with Facebook to bring the millions of La Liga fans in the Indian subcontinent even closer to the action. La Liga sets the standard for football in the world and we are delighted that more people than ever before will have the opportunity to watch our matches live and for free through Facebook in the region.”