International sports broadcaster Eleven Sports has entered into the Italian market with the acquisition of a majority stake in over-the-top platform Sportube.
The service, which is available online and on mobile devices, will be re-branded as Eleven Sports in the summer.
Italy becomes Eleven Sports’ seventh market just weeks after its US market-entry in March. The company is already present in Belgium, Luxembourg, Poland, Singapore and Taiwan.
Eleven Sports in Italy will be overseen by executive chairman Marc Watson and group managing director Danny Menken. Day to day operations will be overseen by president of the network in Italy and former director at pay-television broadcaster Sky Italia and the Infront Sports & Media agency, Marco Pistoni, and current Sportube chief executive and new managing director for Eleven in Italy, Bruno Stirparo.
Watson said: “The acquisition of a majority stake in Sportube – a successful, profitable business with a loyal following – presents a fantastic opportunity for Eleven and we are very excited about the growth opportunities for this business in Italy and beyond.”
Stirparo added: “Eleven Sports has achieved fantastic success and rapid growth in a short space of time in each of its other markets and we are looking forward to harnessing the expertise of Eleven’s dynamic and entrepreneurial team as we aim to replicate that success here in Italy.”
Founded in 2010, Sportube was the first Italian OTT service dedicated to sport. The platform has exclusive rights to a number of Italian sport leagues including Italy’s third tier football league, Lega Pro.
Other current Sportube rights include live coverage of the top volleyball League, Lega Volley Serie A; Italy’s top waterpolo league; domestic and international fencing; Italy’s 162-team amateur football leagues; the Italian Badminton Championship and a wide offering of motorsport including Superbike, Motocross, Enduro, Italian Rally Championship and the Campionato italiano di velocità – Italy’s premier motorcycling championship.