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UPDATED – DDMC Fortis close to AFC media rights deal in Korea

The DDMC Fortis agency is close to agreeing a media rights deal for Asian Football Confederation properties for the 2021-24 cycle in South Korea, one of the most valuable territories for the content.

Media group CJ E&M is poised to acquire the rights, although it is understood the deal is still being finalised.

The deal would mark a change in strategy for CJ E&M, which has not been a major sports broadcaster in recent years. It operates a range of free-to-air and pay-television channels including flagship commercial channel TVN.

South Korea is understood to have been the third most valuable territory after Japan and China for AFC media rights in the current cycle, 2017-20, when they were sold by the Lagardère Sports and Entertainment agency. DDMC Fortis is selling the AFC’s rights for the eight years from 2021 to 2028 under a blockbuster deal with the confederation agreed in 2018. The agency is guaranteeing the AFC well over $2bn over the eight years, a major increase on the current cycle.

DDMC Fortis has so far announced one deal for the 2021-24 cycle, with media group MNC in Indonesia.

UPDATED – this story has been updated to remove information saying that DDMC Fortis was close to a deal with the Dentsu agency in Japan. At the time of the update, it was understood that a deal in Japan is not yet close to being finalised, and DDMC Fortis and Dentsu remain in negotiations.