HomeNewsFootballGlobal

AFC finally signs off global commercial rights deal with DDMC Fortis

The Asian Football Confederation has today (October 29) signed its eight-year global commercial rights deal with DDMC Fortis, from 2021 to 2028.

The AFC said the deal “secures the financial future of the game in Asia for a decade”. The contract was signed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, by AFC president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and Dr Yi Renato, chairman of DDMC Fortis.

DDMC Fortis originally struck the deal with the AFC more than four months ago – on June 11 – beating offers from the MP & Silva, Mediapro and Infront agencies, as well as a joint bid from the Dentsu and Lagardère Sports agencies together with DAZN Group.

DDMC Fortis’ winning offer is seen as a very aggressive one which will not be easy to refinance. The key to refinancing the deal will be striking a lucrative media-rights deal in China.

DDMC Fortis was created specifically to acquire the AFC rights, combining Chinese sports, media and entertainment company Wuhan DDMC Culture with the Fortis Sports agency, founded by Patrick Murphy and David Tyler. Murphy and Tyler are former Team Marketing executives who were heavily involved in the development of the Uefa Champions League and Europa League competitions.

Most recent

The English Premier League effectively softened its opposition to joint bids in its 2019-20 to 2021-22 rights sale in the Caribbean, agreeing a deal with a company specifically set up for the acquisition by telco Cable & Wireless Communications and mobile operator Digicel, the two main players in the region.

Match-choice restrictions placed by Spain’s LaLiga on the free-to-air package in its UK and Ireland rights tenders for the 2019-22 cycle may limit interest from broadcasters, according to industry experts spoken to by SportBusiness Media.

Pay-television broadcaster BT Sport took advantage of Sky’s long-running concerns over wrestling body WWE’s OTT service to grab WWE rights in the UK and Ireland from its rival at a steep discount, SportBusiness Media understands.

As TikTok has grown into one of the world's most popular social-media apps during the past year, the short-form video-sharing platform has become an important tool for sports rights-holders to expand and engage their fanbases.