New Delhi, Delhi, India:ESPN STAR Sports (ESS), Asia’s biggest sports content provider, has delighted football fans once again by securing exclusive broadcast rights for all Football Association (FA) Cup matches, The FA Community Shield and all Senior and Under-21 England Team home matches for the next six years until 2018 for the South Asia Region including India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Maldives, Bhutan and Nepal.
The multimedia platform deal, which allows the content to be made available across television, internet and mobile, was made with international media rights company MP & Silva.
Starting from 3rd November, ESS will begin broadcast of the first round of matches all the way up to the Final in May next year. Chelsea are currently the holders of the FA Cup but are likely to be challenged for the prestigious title by the other Premier League teams including Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City, among others.
This latest agreement further strengthens ESS’ network as truly being the ‘Home of Football’ for the South Asia region, with an unbeatable list of the biggest football properties including the Barclays Premier League, the Spanish Liga BBVA as well as the Italian Serie A, whose exclusive broadcast rights were recently secured from MP & Silva.
Peter Hutton, Managing Director, ESPN STAR Sports, said, “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.”
“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. “We are excited to work with ESPN STAR Sports who will continue to provide excellent exposure for the England Team and The FA Cup on a multi-platform basis in key Asian markets. These markets are important to us and we're going to be putting together some exciting initiatives in India in particular, including bringing The FA Cup out to the sub-continent”
Andrea Radrizzani, Group CEO, 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. The availability of this exciting content across the different platforms also recognises the evolution of how football audiences are now consuming their sports”.
Every year, ESS broadcasts up to 2,500 hours of LIVE football content for the South Asian region from the world’s biggest leagues, and is supported by ESS-produced football programmes such as The Verdict, Scorecast, BPL Express, Goals, Full Time Action and Football Extra, Primetime Premier League, Super Sunday, catering to the demands of a varied football audience.
The FA Cup is recognised as the oldest and most famous domestic knockout competition, which traditionally begins in November and culminates with the Final in May. It is also one of the most viewed football matches in terms of global television reach and the pinnacle of the English football calendar. The FA Community Shield is the English football season’s high-profile curtain raiser, held a week prior to the kick-off of the Barclays Premier League season in August and is played between the winners of The FA Cup and the Barclays Premier League from the previous season. The England national team will play approximately five games per season, including England’s home qualifiers for the FIFA 2014 World Cup in 2014, and England’s home friendly games until 2018.
About ESPN STAR Sports
ESPN STAR Sports is a 50:50 joint venture between two of the world’s leading cable and satellite broadcasters. As Asia's biggest sports content provider, ESPN STAR Sports combines the strengths and resources of its parent companies – Walt Disney (ESPN, Inc.) and News Corporation Limited (STAR) – to deliver a diverse array of international and regional sports to fans across multiple platforms.
ESPN STAR Sports features a comprehensive portfolio of multimedia assets including its television networks (ESPN, STAR Sports, STAR Cricket, FOX Football Channel, ESPNEWS, ESPN HD, STAR Cricket HD), broadband network (ESPN Player), digital content services (espnstar.com, mobileESPN), and its on-ground Event Management Group with the aim to engage and entertain sports fans anytime, anyplace.
ESPN STAR Sports showcases an unparalleled variety of premier sports from around the globe featuring some of the most iconic sports events to viewers across 24 countries in Asia through its 27 television networks and 3 broadband networks, each localized to deliver differentiated programming to meet diverse needs of Asian sports fans.
Sameer Bajaj, ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd, +91 9811222700