February 9 – The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has increased the pace of its broadcast rights sales with two new partners announced for its 2021 to 2024 rights cycle, one in Europe and one Asia.
T Sports will broadcast AFC competitions in Bangladesh for the next four years, the first time matches will be aired by a local broadcaster. C More will be the AFC’s new media partner in Sweden and Finland.
The deals includes all major AFC national team and club competitions, including the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar Final Round, the AFC Asian Cup China 2023, as well as the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup from the 2021 season.
T Sports, Bangladesh’s first dedicated 24/7 private satellite sports channel, was launched in December 2020 and is part of the Bashundhara Group, one of the largest conglomerates in Bangladesh, and owns the Rangpur Riders, one of the cricket teams in the Bangladesh Premier League, and Bashundhara Kings who play in the premier division of Bangladesh football.
Dato’ Windsor John, the AFC General Secretary, said: “We are delighted with this new partnership in Bangladesh, where football continues to grow from strength to strength. The AFC’s Vision has outlined our ambitions to confirm football as the Continent’s number one sport and we are positive that T Sports will bring AFC competitions closer to the millions of passionate fans in the nation.”
C More’s acquisition of AFC rights marks a growing interest in Europe for the AFC’s premium content. C More holds the rights to the UEFA Champions League 2021-2023 amongst other major football properties. C More will broadcast live coverage of the key AFC national team and club competitions across their branded channels and digital platforms in Sweden and Finland.
Johan Cederqvist, Head of C More Channels and Rights, said: “Football is making strong progress in Asia, as seen in the FIFA World Cup 2018 and in the number of Asian players in top football. The AFC rights fit perfectly in C More’s portfolio and the time difference allows our viewers to watch live football on C More around the clock.’’
Patrick Murphy, Board Member and CEO at Football Marketing Asia who are the AFC sales representative, emphasised the uptick in European interest. “This partnership in Europe marks another progressive step to increase the exposure and visibility of the AFC competitions beyond the Continent. We are confident that C More will do a fantastic job in further strengthening the presence of Asia’s top national team and premier club football.’’
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