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News Corp buys internet clip rights in Asia for Premier League and other top football

Media conglomerate News Corporation has acquired exclusive mobile and internet clip rights in Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia for the top football divisions in England, Germany, Italy and France, plus several other club football competitions.

The clips cover match highlights and will be available via a new web and mobile product which is yet to be launched. More than 1,600 matches per season are covered by the deals.

News Corp said the rising popularity of European football in Asia and increasing use of smartphones in the continent were behind the deals.

"European football is growing exponentially in popularity in Asia, particularly among the younger generation, whose passion for the game is complemented by a rapidly increasing adoption of smartphones,” Robert Thomson, News Corp’s chief executive, said.

“We will, exclusively, have every goal from every game in the Premier League and action from the German, French and Italian leagues for audiences in Indonesia, Vietnam and Japan. Given that globalization and digitization are the two most profound and powerful trends of our era, digital delivery of European football in Asia is the sweetest of sweet spots."

The rights for the English Premier League will cover three years, 2013-14 to 2015-16. News Corp acquired the rights in Vietnam directly from the Premier League, and the rights in Japan and Indonesia from the MP & Silva agency.

The rights for France’s Ligue 1, Germany’s Bundesliga and Italy’s Serie A, plus the Brazilian Championship, North America’s Major League Soccer, the second-tier English Championship and the FA Cup and League Cup knockout competitions in England, will run for two seasons, from 2013-14 to 2014-15. These rights were acquired from the MP & Silva agency, except for the Bundesliga rights in Indonesia, which were acquired directly from the league.

Last month, News Corp’s News UK publishing division acquired domestic clip rights to England national team games and FA Cup matches for four years, from 2014-15 to 2017-18. In January, News UK acquired domestic rights for English Premier League clips in a three-year deal, from 2013-14 to 2015-16. News UK is making its clips available to subscribers via the digital platforms of its newspapers The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times.