Saran picks up AFC rights in central Asian markets

The Asian Football Confederation has agreed a media-rights deal in five central Asian countries with the Saran Media agency.

The deal, which runs from 2021 to 2024, covers Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, and was struck by Football Marketing Asia, the AFC’s recently-rebranded exclusive commercial rights agency.

It comprises exclusive rights to the AFC’s major national team and club competitions, including: the final round of AFC qualifiers for the 2022 Fifa World Cup; the AFC Champions League and the AFC Cup; the 2023 Asian Cup and the AFC U23 Championship Finals in 2022 and 2024.

Saran can distribute the rights or exploit them on its pan-regional channel Alma Sport, or its OTT streaming service.

Selim Usta, head of sports at Saran, said: “Despite the unprecedented turbulent times due to the global pandemic, this deal further confirms our commitment to the long-term business strategy in Central Asia.”

FMA has a mandate to sell global media and sponsorship rights to all AFC competitions over eight years, from 2021 to 2028. The media rights in the Middle East and North Africa are excluded from the agreement and the AFC has launched territory-by-territory rights sales in the region.

Patrick Murphy, board member and chief executive officer at FMA, said: “We are delighted to bring in Saran Media International as our valued media partner. We are confident that Saran Media International will further strengthen the presence of high-quality Asian football in the region with its top-notched services.”

FMA rebranded in June, unveiling new branding and logo, having previously been known as DDMC Fortis.