Eleven has acquired broadcasting rights to the Asian Football Federation (AFC) and is set to launch in multiple territories across Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.
The company’s offering will include the remaining AFC Asian Qualifiers’ Road to Qatar matches for the territories of Hong Kong and Thailand in 2021.
Patrick Murphy, Board Member and CEO at Football Marketing Asia, commented: “We are very pleased to welcome the Eleven Group as the newest addition to our ever-growing family of valued AFC media partners.
‘Like FMA, Eleven sees huge, continued growth potential in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, which is underpinned by their plans to launch a dedicated OTT service bringing premium AFC football content to more fans across the region.”
From 2022-24 the deal will extend to cover broadcast rights for all AFC competitions across all Eleven’s Southeast Asian territories, with the exception of Indonesia.
The enterprise looks to firstly carry out an OTT approach in all territories, with each local service powered by the ElevenSports.com platform. Furthermore, D2C distribution will be complemented by partnerships with local linear operators to make content ‘as accessible to fans as possible’.
Guillaume Collard, Eleven Group Chief Rights Acquisitions Officer, noted: “Our plan is to build a network of services that are local, accessible and available to fans wherever and however they want to consume their favourite sport and entertainment.
“Our AFC rights give us a great platform to grow from, as we work to serve audiences in the region in a fresh and dynamic way.”
Eleven looks to tailor its offerings to each market alongside installing local teams in ‘core territories’ with the company’s Southeast Asia operations headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Marc Watson, the group’s Chairman, said: “Eleven has been growing rapidly over recent months. Our expansion into multiple markets in Southeast Asia is an important step in delivering on that ambition.”
Additionally, local commentary teams and on-screen talent will be also recruited in a bid to engage viewers with ‘authentic and impactful programming’.
“We will use the capabilities we have in our Team Whistle division to produce extra digital content to appeal to younger fans and complement our live matches, making our coverage of AFC the most compelling sports product in the region,” Watson added.
In a final bid for fan engagement within the collaboration, Team Whistle, the US sports media and entertainment company acquired by Eleven in May this year, promises to create content to enhance the company’s live rights and engage younger audiences.