It aims to build on the success of its Japan and Taiwan services

Eleven Sports AFC Asia launch

Eleven Group is to launch across Southeast Asia and Hong Kong after acquiring the rights to the Asian Football Confederation’s fixtures.

The remaining AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar matches will be shown on the platform in Hong Kong and Thailand in 2021, before the deal will extend to cover broadcast rights for all AFC competitions across all Eleven´s Southeast Asian territories, with the exception of Indonesia, for 2022-24.

Eleven will look to rapidly expand this portfolio with a focus on local and locally relevant rights, similar to how it has done in Taiwan and Japan complemented by international leagues and competitions.

Eleven is using an OTT first approach to the territories through its Eleven Sports platform, with partnerships with local linear operators complementing this to make content as accessible to fans as possible.

Local teams will be installed in core territories, with Eleven´s Southeast Asia operations headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In addition, local commentary teams and on-screen talent will be recruited to engage viewers with authentic and impactful programming.

Team Whistle, which was acquired by Eleven Sports in May 2021, will bring its production capabilities to the new network of platforms, creating content that aims to build on Eleven´s live rights and engage younger audiences.

Guillaume Collard, Eleven Group’s chief rights acquisitions officer, said: “We’re delighted to be launching in Southeast Asia with a compelling package of AFC rights. Our plan is to build a network of services that are local, accessible and available to fans wherever and however they want to consume their favourite sport and entertainment. Our AFC rights give us a great platform to grow from, as we work to serve audiences in the region in a fresh and dynamic way.”

Marc Watson, Eleven Group executive chairman, added: “The Eleven Group has been growing rapidly over recent months. Our mix of sports and entertainment content attracts over 4billion views each month and we want to continue building and innovating our offering to deliver for more fans than ever around the world. Our expansion into multiple markets in Southeast Asia is an important step in delivering on that ambition. We will use the capabilities we have in our Team Whistle division to produce extra digital content to appeal to younger fans and complement our live matches, making our coverage of AFC the most compelling sports product in the region.”