ELEVEN SPORTS has today announced a strategic partnership with IMG in the UK and Ireland for the launch of two new sports channels that will include LIVE and EXCLUSIVE rights to Serie A as well as every match from LaLiga.
Eleven Sports 1 and Eleven Sports 2 will launch via an online streaming platform this August in the UK and Ireland with more premium rights to be announced soon for the dynamic sports service which has already achieved success worldwide in under three years thanks to its engaging, localised approach that enables fans to get closer to the action.
ELEVEN SPORTS has secured Serie A on a three-year agreement starting with the upcoming 2018/19 season. Today’s announcement follows the platform’s entry into the market in May with the acquisition of rights to LaLiga for the next three seasons. The addition of Serie A means ELEVEN SPORTS will be the only place where fans can watch every game from two of Europe’s best leagues, including every league game featuring Cristiano Ronaldo following his recent transfer to Juventus.
IMG’s experience and expertise in global media rights and broadcast production will provide strong backing for ELEVEN SPORTS’ offer in the UK and Ireland. The collective attributes of the two businesses, particularly in content acquisition, production, contemporary on-air and online fan engagement and innovative distribution, will ensure that fans across the country receive an outstanding service featuring some of the biggest and best international sports events. IMG is taking a minority stake in ELEVEN SPORTS’ new channels.
“The partnership with IMG strengthens ELEVEN SPORTS’ position as a major player in the UK and Ireland.” said Marc Watson, Executive Chairman and Group CEO, ELEVEN SPORTS. “IMG adds significant resources to our operations and they will contribute greatly to our innovative way of delivering more contemporary sports coverage that appeals to today’s audience.”
“We are excited about this new partnership with ELEVEN SPORTS and the launch of the two new sports channels in the UK and Ireland. ELEVEN has shown, in a relatively short time, they are an innovative and creative company and we believe our vast experience and knowledge of the sports media rights business, alongside our production expertise will play an important part in making these two new channels a big success in the UK and Ireland.” said Adam Kelly, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales, IMG Media. “Going direct to consumer is a natural evolution of our overall business and very much part of our strategy to search for new commercial avenues for our clients.”
Eleven Sports 1 will be 100 per cent football showcasing some of the biggest leagues, best teams and leading players; and Eleven Sports 2 will provide LIVE premium fight sports, Esports and extreme sports for dedicated fans, plus football overspill from Eleven Sports 1. IMG will produce the output for both channels from its state-of-the-art production HQ at Stockley Park.
Four LIVE Event channels that ‘pop up’ to prevent schedule clashes and enabling fans to access several simultaneous matches at one time will also be utilised. Fans will also have access to LaLigaTV on ELEVEN SPORTS – the 24/7 in-house channel which features documentaries, magazine shows and other exclusive LaLiga content, giving dedicated fans behind-the-scenes access and insight at a level never seen before.
The new services will be available on ELEVEN’s soon-to-be-launched online streaming platform, ensuring it is easily accessible for every dedicated fan across the country without the need for set top boxes, bundled packages or contracts. The innovative streaming service is designed with dedicated fans in mind who don’t want to miss a minute of LIVE action and supplementary programming. It will include affordable pricing (to be announced soon) and flexible viewing options, so fans can watch anywhere, anytime, on the move and on catch-up.
ELEVEN is in discussions with other major platforms in the UK and Ireland to offer the widest possible access to the premium action available on the service. This is in line with the ‘platform agnostic’ approach ELEVEN SPORTS employs in all its eleven international markets, making it as easy as possible for fans to stay close to the sport they love.
Serie A was the most competitive out of Europe’s top leagues during the 2017/18 season with a titanic tussle at the top between Napoli and eventual champions Juventus. The league also features several other world-famous clubs including A.C. Milan, Inter Milan, Roma, Lazio and this season will see the return of Parma after three consecutive promotions.
Paired with LaLiga, which boasts footballing giants Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid; ELEVEN SPORTS will be the only destination where fans can watch and enjoy these titans of the world game.
“Serie A has a dedicated following in the UK and Ireland and there is now added interest following Juventus’ signing of global superstar Cristiano Ronaldo,” said Marc Watson, Executive Chairman and Group CEO, ELEVEN SPORTS. “With more top-tier rights to come in addition to Serie A and LaLiga, ELEVEN SPORTS’ entry in to the UK and Ireland has changed the market dynamics. History has shown new rivals bring innovation and fresh thinking to the ways in which premium sports action is produced, packaged and distributed for fans.”
“We have worked very successfully with ELEVEN SPORTS in the last three years to take world-class Serie A action to football fans in several markets around the world.” said Gaetano Miccichè, Serie A President. “We are delighted to continue our partnership in the UK and Ireland and we are looking forward to being a big part of ELEVEN’s sport focused strategy that will place us at the forefront of their innovative offer in what is a very important market for Serie A.”