Spanish broadcaster Mediaset Espana and media group Mediapro have signed a new agreement that will allow Mediaset to air Spanish first-division soccer league games on its open channel Cuatro and online. The games will air weekly and are free-to-air contests.
Mediapro accepted the offer, which will include the remaining 10 rounds of this season, as well as all the games of the next two seasons. The deal begins on April 1, which is when the contract currently in place with MarcaTV ends. The first game to air will be Real Betis vs. Getafe, which can be streamed on Mediaset's website Mitele.es.
Now, I have to admit as an American that I am uneducated on soccer beyond what I see at the World Cup and what is going on with Major League Soccer (which I attended in person for the first time over this weekend). I watch a litte of the English Barclays Premier League on the ESPN family of networks, but only really know the top teams (and that I should hate Manchester United, as they have been described to me as the New York Yankees of the EPL). I know that Messi plays for Barcelona and is apparently really awesome and that Renaldo plays for Real Madrid and is an elite player as well. Are both of those teams in Spain's first league? Who else should I know about there? What is the quality of its soccer compared to the EPL?