Manchester United expand TV footprint into the South Seas

MUTVBy Mark Baber
October 3 - Manchester United has announced a three-year agreement with Fijian Holdings Limited (FHL)'s Fiji TV to bring MUTV to the South Pacific for the first time.

The new deal comes shortly after the Fijian military junta introduced a new constitution, described by Human Rights Watch as representing "a major step backwards for human rights from the constitution thrown out by Fiji's military in April 2009," and as foreign investment reportedly continues to plummet in the island-nation from $450 million in 2009 to $16 million last year.

The agreement represents an important step for Fiji TV in its strategic expansion into the Pacific, but has some dangers attached as the channel is operating under six month licences after coming under fire from the government for airing interviews with two former prime ministers who criticised the constitutional review process.

The agreement allows Fiji TV to broadcast MUTV to 21 different territories across the South Pacific, including Fiji, Cook Islands, Kiribati Islands, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, North Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna Islands, American Samoa and Guam.

Manchester United's Group Managing Director Richard Arnold said: "Manchester United has in excess of half-a-million followers across these territories and our new partnership is an exciting prospect. Fans will not only be able to view all of the club's matches for the next three seasons, but also get a real insight into the team they support. This is the first time the club has been able to offer this service to fans and we are delighted to be teaming up with Fiji TV to bring them closer to United."

Tevita Gonelevu, Chief Executive Officer for Fiji TV, said: "Everyone at Fiji TV is excited to be embarking on this relationship with Manchester United and MUTV. Our viewers are passionate about football and it was important for us to be able to offer them footage of the Premier League. We look forward to our relationship with the club and hope that our viewers enjoy everything MUTV has to offer."

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