Infront

Features

Qualifier matches for the 2019 Asian Cup begin on June 11 with about a dozen Asian football federations yet to sell second- and third-party media rights to their home matches to an agency.

Interview with Ian Mathie, managing director of Infront Pan-Asia, on the agency’s recent deals with Asian football federations and its regional strategy.

The Confédération Africaine de Football could be set for a huge increase in the value of its global media and marketing rights, as negotiations with incumbent rights-holder Sportfive and rival agency Infront Sports & Media near a conclusion.

All of the industry’s major rights agencies were present in Bahrain this week at the Asian Football Confederation annual congress to try to agree media-rights deals with Asian federations.

The rights-trading subsidiaries of sports marketing company Lagardère Unlimited look set for a double boost. World Sport Group is close to renewing its contract with the Asian confederation, while Sportfive remains favourite to renew its deal for African confederation rights.

The Infront Sports & Media agency has secured fee increases in skiing deals with public-service broadcasters in both Austria and Norway.

German public-service broadcasters ARD and ZDF will pay a smaller rights fee for the Alpine and Nordic World Ski Championships in 2019 and 2021 than they did for 2015 and 2017, following a deal agreed last week.

The €1.05bn ($1.19bn) acquisition by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda of the Infront Sports & Media agency this week is expected to make the agency even more aggressive in the rights market than it has been in the last two years, when it was being fattened up for sale.

Responses supplied by Infront Sports & Media regarding the recent acquisition of the agency by the Dalian Wanda Group.

The Infront Sports & Media agency is understood to be the strongest challenger to the Sportfive agency for the rights to the events of the Confédération Africaine de Football, including the flagship Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament.

Pan-European sports broadcaster Eurosport last week renewed a host of top skiing rights, with expanded exclusivity and at slight fee increases, in a deal with the Infront Sports & Media agency.

The Union Cycliste Internationale’s long-standing goal of centralising the media rights to the UCI World Tour looks set to be put on the back burner under new president Brian Cookson in favour of more achievable objectives: creating a coherent calendar and improving cycling as a television product.

The Union Cycliste Internationale’s decision to move away from pan-regional deals for its world championship events and appoint the Infront Sports & Media agency to sell the rights on a market-by-market basis appears to be paying off.

The Infront Sports & Media agency’s deals last week for World Championship and World Cup skiing events with Swedish public-service broadcaster SVT are thought to represent a decent increase on the current value of the rights.

Interview with Adam Mason, director of summer sports at Infront Sports & Media, on expanded coverage for the UCI world championships.