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AFC commercial rights tender set for February launch

The Asian Football Confederation has today (Tuesday) confirmed that a tender for the sale of its commercial rights for the two cycles between 2021 and 2028 will be published on February 1.

After a re-scheduling, approved by the AFC Executive Committee in Bangkok in November, it has been decided that the rights tender will be issued to both agencies and broadcasters.

The results of the tender, which will close in late March, will be considered by the AFC Executive Committee.

In December 2016, the AFC voted to put its media and marketing rights beyond 2020 out to tender. In 2015 the Lagardère-owned World Sport Group agency agreed an extension with the AFC through to 2028, but the deal, which was negotiated directly with the agency and was not opened up to the wider market, was not ratified by the AFC Executive Committee.

WSG, which has now been absorbed into the Lagardère Sports family, currently distributes rights to AFC events under a deal based on a guarantee of $600m (€506.3m) over eight years, from 2013 to 2020.

In the next cycle, the AFC said it aims to further increase its tailor-made support for member associations, to continue to invest in competitions and to ensure that the AFC has the resources available to support those ambitions.

AFC president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said: “We start from a strong foundation. By working together, hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder, the member associations have given the AFC the opportunity to deliver an ambitious vision and mission which provides focused and tailor-made services to maximise the potential of the MAs – and the results have been impressive.

“The financial return demonstrates that this commitment is matched by action – the total investment in member association services will have risen from $17.366m in the cycle from 2013 to 2016 to more than $39.091m by 2018.

“And as the AFC competitions grow, there will be increased financial support to continue to reward success. This will deliver world-class platforms for Asian teams and their players.”