ESS buys rights for English international & Cup football matches
ESPN-STAR Sports (ESS) has secured the exclusive broadcast rights owned by the English FA of the FA Cup, the FA Community Shield and all England Senior and Under-21 team home matches for the next six years until 2018 for the South Asia Region including India. The multimedia platform deal, which allows the content to be made available across television, internet and mobile, was signed by ESS and the FA with international media rights company MP & Silva handling the deal.
Starting from November 3, ESS will begin broadcast of the first round of FA Cup matches all the way up to the final in May 2013. FC Chelsea are currently the holders of the FA Cup but are likely to be challenged for the prestigious title by Premier League rivals including Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City, among others.
Earlier these rights had been with Sony Entertainment Television, who used to show matches on their entertainment channel Sony Pix and having launched their dedicated sports channel Sony Six earlier in the year, SET will surely not be happy to lose the FA rights.
In their fight to be the leader of football broadcast in India and across South Asia, ESS has ahead of rivals Ten Sports, as ESS calls itself the ‘Home of Football’ for the South Asia region including India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Maldives, Bhutan and Nepal, with an impressive list of the biggest football properties including the English Premier League, the Spanish La Liga as well as the Italian Serie A, whose exclusive broadcast rights were recently secured from MP & Silva.
“Having a season round offering of football is at the heart of our dominance of the Indian sports market and the unique stories that the FA Cup creates every year is a very welcome part of our line-up. The FA Cup was seen in India long before the Premier League and the other European leagues, and we’re very proud to be able to continue the tradition,” said Peter Hutton, Managing Director at ESPN STAR Sports.
“ESPN STAR Sports has a stellar track record for growing the popularity of English football in Asia and we look forward to extending this strong relationship in the coming years,” said Stuart Turner, The FA’s Group Commercial Director.
Andrea Radrizzani, Group CEO at MP & Silva, added, “The FA Cup is another eagerly awaited football event on every football fan’s calendar, and we’re glad to see that it’s being broadcast by ESPN STAR Sports, as part of the network’s comprehensive stable of key football properties.”