Eleven eats further into Sky's portfolio with rights to Eredivisie and CSL
Eleven Sports, the international pay-TV broadcaster launching channels in the UK and Ireland, has secured more content from domestic soccer leagues, picking up exclusive rights to the Netherlands’ Eredivisie, Sweden’s Allsvenskan and the Chinese Super League.
Rights to the trio of leagues have been secured for three seasons from IMG as further details emerge of the nascent broadcaster’s wider programming and production agreement with the international sports and entertainment agency.
Both the Eredivisie and the CSL have been part of Sky’s portfolio and the loss of the rights will be somewhat of a blow to the pay-TV broadcaster, albeit Sky subscribers would still be able to follow the leagues should a carriage agreement be hammered out for the new Eleven Sports channels.
Through the tie-up with IMG, which also includes the agency taking a small stake in the UK and Ireland business, Eleven Sports has added Eredivisie rights from the 2018-19 season onwards, Allsvenskan rights from the 2018 season already under way and CSL rights from 2019 (Sky holds the rights until the end of the 2018 campaign).
The rights add more inventory for the new ‘100-per-cent football’ Eleven Sports 1 channel after the exclusive rights to LaLiga and Serie A were secured by the broadcaster.
Danny Menken, group managing director at Eleven Sports, said today: “We will cooperate very closely with the leagues to deliver an outstanding all-round service that ensures the fans live every moment from some of the world’s best sports leagues and competitions. We are looking forward to announcing more premium football and non-football rights soon to add to our growing portfolio.”
Eleven will launch an online streaming platform in the UK and Ireland next month, and remains in talks with pay-TV providers, including BT, Sky and Virgin, regarding carriage agreements for linear channels in time for the new season. The Eleven Sports 2 channel is to offer “live premium fight sports, eSports and extreme sports for dedicated fans, plus football overspill from Eleven Sports 1.”
In addition to the two Eleven Sports channels, there will also be four live ‘pop-up’ event channels to prevent programming clashes and allow fans to watch simultaneous games.
IMG is to produce the output for both channels from its facilities at Stockley Park in London, and the online streaming platform will use the technology of NeuLion, the streaming technology company bought by IMG’s parent company Endeavor in a $250-million deal.
There will be particular interest in the CSL among viewers in the UK and Ireland given the involvement of former Premier League players Ramires, Graziano Pelle, Javier Mascherano, Oscar and John Obi Mikel. Chris Coleman, the former Wales manager, is now the head coach of Hebei China Fortune.