ELEVEN ACQUIRES EXCLUSIVE AFC RIGHTS IN SIX NEW MARKETS
The ELEVEN Group is set to launch in multiple territories across Southeast Asia and Hong Kong, with a dynamic D2C service at the heart of the project.
By 2022, ELEVEN will be delivering for fans in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Brunei Darussalam, and the Philippines with plans to expand further in the near future.
ELEVEN will launch with a leading collection of Asian Football Confederation rights. ELEVEN’s offering will include the remaining AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar™ matches for the territories of Hong Kong and Thailand in 2021. From 2022-24 the deal will extend to cover broadcast rights for all AFC competitions across all ELEVEN´s Southeast Asian territories, with the exception of Indonesia. ELEVEN will be rapidly expanding its content portfolio with a focus on local and locally relevant rights.
An OTT first approach will be employed by ELEVEN in all territories. Each local service will be powered by the Group´s global ElevenSports.com platform and its pioneering, proprietary streaming technology. D2C distribution will be complemented by partnerships with local linear operators to make content as accessible to fans as possible.
ELEVEN´s offering will be tailored to each market. Local teams will be installed in core territories, with ELEVEN´s Southeast Asia operations headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Local commentary teams and on-screen talent will be recruited to engage viewers with authentic and impactful programming. Team Whistle, the US sports media and entertainment company acquired by the ELEVEN Group in May 2021, will bring its award winning production capabilities to the new network of platforms, creating content that champions ELEVEN´s live rights and engages younger audiences.
The group’s expansion in Asia builds on the success of its operations in Taiwan and Japan in recent years. In Taiwan, ELEVEN offers fans a mix of premium local and international sport including the CPBL (Taiwanes Baseball), the NPL (Japanese Baseball) the English Premier League and the NBA. In Japan, ELEVEN employs an OTT only service for its local baseball rights.
ELEVEN´s activities in Asia are supplemented by fellow Aser Ventures media platform LIVENow. LIVENow launched an OTT platform with an accompanying linear service in Singapore earlier this year to bring audiences live and exclusive coverage of UEFA Euro 2020. They now deliver live coverage from the Premier League each week, in partnership with local operator Singtel. LIVENow also partners with ELEVEN´s local platform in Taiwan.
Guillaume Collard, ELEVEN Group Chief Rights Acquisitions Officer, said: “We’re delighted to be launching in Southeast Asia with a compelling package of AFC rights. Our plan is to build a network of services that are local, accessible and available to fans wherever and however they want to consume their favourite sport and entertainment. Our AFC rights give us a great platform to grow from, as we work to serve audiences in the region in a fresh and dynamic way.”
Marc Watson, ELEVEN Group Executive Chairman, added: “The ELEVEN Group has been growing rapidly over recent months. Our mix of sports and entertainment content attracts over 4billion views each month and we want to continue building and innovating our offering to deliver for more fans than ever around the world. Our expansion into multiple markets in Southeast Asia is an important step in delivering on that ambition. We will use the capabilities we have in our Team Whistle division to produce extra digital content to appeal to younger fans and complement our live matches, making our coverage of AFC the most compelling sports product in the region.”
Dato’ Windsor John, the AFC General Secretary, said: “The AFC is delighted to enter into this partnership with ELEVEN, which further underlines the prestige and ever-growing stature of the AFC’s world-class competitions. Football continues to occupy a special place in the ASEAN region and in Hong Kong and we want to thank ELEVEN for ensuring unparalleled access for our passionate fans and for believing in the future of Asian football.”
Patrick Murphy, Board Member and CEO at Football Marketing Asia, added: “We are very pleased to welcome the ELEVEN Group as the newest addition to our ever-growing family of valued AFC media partners. Like FMA, ELEVEN sees huge, continued growth potential in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, which is underpinned by their plans to launch a dedicated OTT service bringing premium AFC football content to more fans across the region. Our teams at FMA are looking forward to start working with ELEVEN.”
Founded by the leading sports and media entrepreneur Andrea Radrizzani and Marc Watson in 2015, ELEVEN is an award-winning sports and entertainment media group. The ELEVEN Group houses 1,655 distribution channels and 665 million aggregated social media followers, generating more than 4 billion video views each month. The Group owns more than 50 original content formats and distributes over 65,000 live hours of sport each year to audiences globally. From the world’s biggest sporting events, to the best local sport, to award winning original programming - viewers enjoy a 24/7 offering of live and non-live entertainment across ELEVEN’s global network.