News Corp Wins Exclusive Rights To Mobile, Web Broadcast Of Major Soccer Leagues In Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam

 @AlexCKaufman
on August 12 2013 10:25 AM
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Chelsea supporters hold scarves as they chant slogans in support of Chelsea during a friendly soccer match between Chelsea and Indonesia's all star team at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, in Jakarta July 25, 2013. REUTERS/Enny Nuraheni

News Corp (Nasdaq:NWS) secured exclusive mobile and Internet clip rights for England’s Barclay’s Premier League and several other major leagues in Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia for a three-year period, the company announced on Monday.

The publishing giant – comprised of such companies as the Wall Street Journal, AllThingsD, HarperCollins and several Australian broadcast assets – also won the rights to those clips in those countries for Germany’s Bundesliga, France’s Ligue 1, Italy’s Serie A, England’s FA Cup, Championship and Capital One Cup leagues, Brazil’s Championship and the U.S.’s Major League Soccer, according to a press release.

The deal gives News Corp a dominant role in soccer coverage around the world, with 1,600 regular season, playoff and championship matches being broadcast on web and mobile devices.

The move is also a formula for lucrative ad sales. Mobile ads and live sporting events are currently gold mines for advertising, and this deal unlocks a critical source of revenue for struggling News Corp print properties once buoyed by the entertainment and broadcast assets – like Fox News Channel and Fox Searchlight, which split off into 21st Century Fox on June 28.

And emerging economies like Vietnam and Indonesia, paired with Japan’s already-developed tech scene, sweeten the deal that the company’s CEO called “the sweetest of sweet spots.”

“European football is growing exponentially in popularity in Asia, particularly among the younger generation, whose passion for the game is complemented by a rapidly increasing adoption of smartphones,” Robert Thomson, the chief executive of News Corp, said in a statement. “Given that globalization and digitization are the two most profound and powerful trends of our era, digital delivery of European football in Asia is the sweetest of sweet spots.”

News Corp previously announced the acquisition of the U.K. rights to show clips of all Premier League and Football Association matches available to subscribers through the websites for its London newspapers the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times.

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