Eleven Sports enters 11th market with Myanmar soccer rights acquisition
Eleven Sports, the international pay-television operator, is to launch a new sports service, branded My Sports, in Myanmar, the 11th market in which it will operate channels.
The launch comes on the back of My Sports’ acquisition of the global live rights to the Myanmar National Football League, in a nine-year deal beginning in 2019.
From next year, My Sports will deliver all 132 matches on a new linear service via satellite and OTT platforms through to the end of 2027. At present, only a third of MNL matches are shown live.
The agreement also includes live and exclusive coverage of the General Aung San Shield – the top domestic cup competition in Myanmar.
Eleven Sports said that two games per match week will continue to be aired on MRTV, Myanmar’s largest free-to-air channel, adding that it “intends to make these games available on other FTA platforms. My Sports will seek to secure the widest possible distribution on FTA, pay platforms and through telecommunications companies to ensure the widest possible local language access for football fans in Myanmar to their domestic league.”
Ahead of the start of the partnership, this season’s potentially title deciding match between Shan United (second) and Yangon (first) will be streamed exclusively live globally on the My Sports Facebook page at 3.30pm local time on 23 June, followed by Yadanarbon FC (third) versus Southern Myanmar (sixth) at 4pm on 1 July.
Danny Menken, group managing director of Eleven Sports, said: “Myanmar is our fourth new market this year and our 11th in total, which is completely in line with our huge global ambitions. With My Sports we have created a new brand, not used in any other market, designed to satisfy the needs of the sports fans of Myanmar.
“Our long-term partnership with the Myanmar National League will ensure that we help the country develop its football infrastructure over a sustained period, providing local fans with more opportunities to watch and participate in their favourite sport. As always, our proposition will be enriched with many more local and international premium sports rights which will be announced in the coming weeks and months.”
My Sports’ launch in Myanmar follows Eleven Sports’ recent
entry into the European markets of the UK, Ireland and Portugal. These
complemented it existing presence in Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, Poland,
Singapore, Taiwan and USA.
The broadcaster, owned by Aser Media, the investment company founded by Andrea Radrizzani, also launched in Malaysia in 2015 but the venture there was short-lived.
Skynet, Myanmar’s leading pay-TV service, boasts rights to England’s Premier League is also the incumbent Uefa Champions League and Europa League rights-holder.
In a major development in the Polish market last month, Eleven Sports entered into a strategic partnership with Polsat, the Polish commercial broadcaster, in which Polsat acquired 50 per cent plus one share of Eleven Sports Network in Poland, at a price of €38 million ($44 million).
Earlier, exclusive rights in the UK and Ireland to Spanish soccer’s LaLiga were acquired by Eleven Sports, dealing a blow to Sky, the pay-television broadcaster and incumbent rights-holder.
Eleven, which had already extended its LaLiga rights deals in Belgium and Poland, bought the rights from the 2018-19 season onwards in a three-year agreement.