Now TV, the prominent pay-TV broadcaster in Hong Kong, has secured exclusive rights in the territory to the upcoming FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar in a deal struck by international sports agency Infront.
Under the deal, Now TV will show live coverage of all 64 matches of the tournament, while its sister free-to-air network ViuTV will show 19 matches live, including the opening match, the two semi-finals, and the final.
The match-kick-off times for Hong Kong audiences are at HKT 6pm, 9pm, 11pm, 12am and 3am for group matches, while knockout rounds will take place at either 11pm or 3am. Both semi-finals will be broadcast at 3am, while the final will be aired at 11pm.
The rights were sold by Infront, which holds distribution rights for this year’s World Cup in 26 markets in Asia, as part of its deal with FIFA covering all events from 2015 to 2022.
So far, Infront has completed deals with ABU (Afghanistan), CBS (Cambodia), Saran Media (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan), CCTV (China), Viacom18 (Indian subcontinent), Emtek (Indonesia), TDM (Macau), Content Distribution (Mongolia), Elta (Taiwan), and ETO (Timor Leste).
Other Asian broadcasters who have struck rights deals directly with FIFA include Astro (Malaysia, Brunei), Dentsu (Japan), and SBS (North and South Korea).
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Last week, Tap DMV, the pay-TV broadcaster in the Philippines, acquired rights in the country, which will be housed on its dedicated channel World Cup TV (WC TV) which will launch ahead of the tournament.
The broadcaster said WC TV will be available as a direct-to-consumer streaming service and also available via cable-TV operators in the country. Along with all live matches, the channel will also include feature programs, as well as pre-and post-match interviews.
The new rights build on Now TV’s growing list of sports properties, including motor racing’s Formula 1 and mixed martial arts series Ultimate Fighting Championship.