March 16 – The AFC is continuing to advance its global footprint with the addition of a new broadcaster in Europe for its national team and club competitions.
New pay TV broadcaster – TV Start – has picked up rights for the 2021-24 cycle for Russia and the CIS territories including Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
The rights include 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. It is the first time AFC competitions will be shown in Russia and across certain CIS territories.
TV Start already airs the K League, with more than 60% of all pay TV consumers in Russia having access to the broadcaster’s content.
Anton Shirokov, Managing Director at TV Start, said: “We have found that Asian sports is received well by our audience in Russia. We are confident about our partnership with the AFC and look forward to increasing the popularity of AFC competitions in Russia and in the CIS territories. We are excited about bringing Asia’s top national team and club competitions to our audiences.”
The deal is another success for the AFC’s commercial partner Football Marketing Asia which is building value and profile for competitions that the AFC has invested in with expanded formats and increasingly competitive structures.
Dato’ Windsor John, the AFC General Secretary, said: “We are delighted with this new partnership in Russia and the CIS territories where football continues to grow massively.
“TV Start’s recognition exemplifies the ever-growing attraction and value proposition of the AFC’s competitions and further underlines our ambitions through the AFC’s Vision and Mission to stage world-class competitions for our teams, players and passionate fans.”
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