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Asia market report, 2018

In the latest interactive monthly data report, SportBusiness Media analyses the media-rights landscape in Asia.

Further detail on the deals covered in this interactive data report is available in our Rights Tracker tool  click here for more information.

Bumper cricket deals

In the past year, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has secured two massive deals for its global rights with Star India.

The first, signed in September 2017, was for rights to the Indian Premier League – organised by the BCCI – and will be worth a total of $2.55bn (€2.2bn) over the five years, from 2018 to 2022.

The second, signed in April, was for domestic competitions and the home matches of the Indian cricket team in all formats of the game. The five-season deal, from 2018-19 to 2022-23, is worth $189.6m per season.

In both tenders, Star overcame media group Sony Pictures Networks India, which was especially aggressive in the bidding for the latter after missing out on IPL rights. The acquisition of the Indian team rights meant Star will hold rights to three of the most valuable cricket properties.

Sony’s position in the market now relies heavily on its coverage of away tours of the Indian team. Sony holds rights across the Indian subcontinent to seven international cricket boards as shown in the graph below. To reveal further information, hover over the bars.

Facebook testing the water

Social media company Facebook has seen an opportunity to test a sports media-rights strategy in Asia with high-profile football rights acquisitions. It has acquired English Premier League rights in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam across two deals.

The three-season deal for rights in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, from 2019-20 to 2021-22, will be worth about $70m per season. Its deal for rights in Vietnam in the same three-season cycle will be worth about $25m per season.

Facebook is understood to have targeted premium sports rights in both Thailand and Vietnam as the two countries are in the top 10 markets for mobile video viewing worldwide.

With Sony and Star focussing finances on cricket, Facebook has eased itself into the Indian subcontinent market with the acquisition of Spain’s LaLiga. The deal is for three seasons, from 2018-19 to 2020-21, and is worth about €5m per season. Facebook has subsequently sublicensed some coverage to Sony.

Across all three of its acquisitions, Facebook acquired rights for less than the value of the respective previous deal.

Granular value information on the deals is below. To filter the information, click on the territory icons.

The Chinese market

The Chinese market has undergone a massive transformation over the past few years, with heavy investment into sport encouraged by the government. However, more recently the market has become increasingly difficult to predict.

The current most valuable per-season media-rights deal in China is internet operator Tencent’s agreement for NBA digital rights. The deal, struck in February 2015, runs from 2015-16 to 2019-20 and is worth about $150m per season.

The deal was originally worth about $100m per season but was expanded in the summer of 2016 to incorporate the NBA’s League Pass, allowing Tencent to show every NBA game, guaranteeing the NBA about $50m per season more.

The NBA deal will be dethroned as the most valuable in the country when streaming company PPTV’s three-season deal for English Premier League rights begins at the start of the 2019-20 season. The deal will be worth about $233m per season, an increase in value of about 1195 per cent on the current deal with Super Sports Media Group.

To reveal the deal information, hover over each deal circle. To filter the content by sport, click on the icons.

Massive new AFC deal

One deal that could not go unmentioned was the deal for global media and sponsorship rights (excluding the Middle East and North Africa) to all Asian Football Confederation competitions over eight years, from 2021 to 2028. The AFC awarded its commercial rights to the joint venture named DDMC Fortis, which offered a minimum guarantee of $2.38bn.

DDMC Fortis is made up of Chinese media company Wuhan DDMC Culture and Synergy Sports and Fortis Sport, an entity created specifically for the AFC bid process by former Team Marketing executives Patrick Murphy and David Tyler. In the current AFC global rights deal, from 2013 to 2020, World Sport Group – now a Lagardère subsidiary – pays $75m per year for all rights, including the Middle East and North Africa.

The AFC will sign off any deals agreed by DDMC Fortis, which will earn commission on sales up to the level of the minimum guarantee and share revenues above that.

The DDMC Fortis deal covers the following competitions: AFC Asian Cup (2023 and 2027); final round of Fifa World Cup Asian qualifiers (for the 2022 and 2026 competitions); AFC Champions League, 2021 to 2028; AFC Cup, 2021 to 2028; AFC Women’s Cup (2022 and 2026); men’s and women’s youth championships, 2021 to 2028; and Futsal Championships, 2021 to 2028.

The deal was noteworthy due to the competition from almost all of the leading agencies in the world, including: IMG, MP & Silva, Mediapro, Infront, and Lagardère Sports, Dentsu and Perform (the latter three as part of a joint venture). The nearest minimum guarantee offer is thought to have been about $2bn, from MP & Silva. The Infront and Lagardère/Dentsu/Perform offers ranged from $1.6bn to just under $2bn.

Most recent

Pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus’s surprise move to share all its English Premier League rights in France for the 2019-22 cycle with telco Altice was related to a carriage deal secured late last year with Altice, SportBusiness Media understands. This deal enabled Canal’s platform to show RMC Sport channels, allowing it access to the Uefa Champions League.

The value of the Israeli Basketball Premier League’s domestic rights has stalled, with incumbent pay-television broadcaster Sports Channel renewing rights from 2019-20 amid little competition.

The two-and-a-half-year negotiation between Brazilian club Palmeiras and media group Globo ended in a good result for the club last month, as it became one of only three Série A clubs to receive a minimum guarantee for its pay-per-view rights in 2019.

The rights value in Italy for the pre-season International Champions Cup football tournament was weighed down by a combination of lower inventory, a busy summer sports calendar and a tough market environment, SportBusiness Media understands.