Indonesian media group MNC has acquired rights for Asian Football Confederation events in the 2021 to 2024 period, the first deal of the new sales cycle being conducted by the DDMC Fortis agency.
MNC’s deal covers all major AFC national team and club competitions, including the Fifa World Cup Asian Qualifiers, the AFC Champions League, the AFC Cup, the Asian Cup, youth national team championships, the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, and futsal competitions.
MNC has committed to providing live coverage of all matches produced for television across all AFC competitions – more than 1,600 matches over the four-year period. All matches involving an Indonesian national or club team will be live on free-to-air channel RCTI and streamed online. RCTI will also show other major matches live, such as the Asian Cup semi-finals and final, and they will also be streamed online. National team and club matches not involving Indonesian teams – including Asian Cup, World Cup qualifying, AFC Champions League and AFC Cup matches – will be broadcast live on free or pay linear television and also streamed online.
The company operates some of Indonesia’s leading free-to-air television channels, of which RCTI is one, as well as pay-television channels and digital platforms.
In the current cycle, running 2017 to 2020, MNC has rights for all AFC matches, but does not show all live as it will do in the new cycle. International sports broadcaster Fox has English-language pay-television rights in Indonesia covering all matches, as part of a pan-regional deal.
The DDMC Fortis agency is selling media and sponsorship rights for AFC competitions globally, with the exception of the Middle East and North Africa, in the eight-year period from 2021 to 2028, under a huge, multi-billion-dollar deal agreed last year. The AFC said at the time that the deal “secures the financial future of the game in Asia for a decade”.
DDMC Fortis far outbid rivals to acquire the rights and sports industry observers are watching closely to see if it can turn a profit on the deal. The Hong Kong-based agency is a joint-venture between Chinese media company Wuhan DDMC Culture and Fortis Sports, an agency set up by former Team Marketing executives Patrick Murphy and David Tyler.
The Indonesian media rights will be a relatively small part of the overall picture for the agency. Media-rights deals in China, Japan and Korea will be by far the most valuable.
In the deal press release, Patrick Murphy, board member and chief executive at DDMC Fortis, said: “We are delighted to renew AFC’s long-term partnership with MNC, which will provide fans extensive free-to-air coverage of Indonesian national team and club football. MNC is an excellent partner to further develop the AFC national team and club competitions throughout the cycle.”
Hary Tanoesoedibjo, group chairman at MNC Group, said: “We are delighted to announce that we have secured the most prestigious football competitions in Asia from 2021-2024. Football is the most popular sport in the country, and we are proud to establish this venture to bring fans a wide range of sports entertainment. The addition of various AFC competitions will further strengthen MNC’s position as a ‘must see’ FTA network for any football fan. Millions of people in Indonesia will have the opportunity to enjoy and support Indonesian national team football as well as club football on an international scale.”
Dato’ Windsor John, the AFC general secretary, said: “Indonesia is home to some of Asia’s most dedicated football fans and this partnership underlines not only the passion that exists in that country for Asian football, but also the confidence that the broadcasters have in the AFC’s competitions.
“We are delighted to have extended our very successful relationship with MNC and look forward to sharing some historic moments with their millions of football-loving viewers as the game in Asia moves into a new era.”
As well as Indonesia, MNC’s deal covers the territories of Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea.
Story updated on 31 October 2019 to include extra details about MNC coverage.