Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific (DNAP), a division of Discovery Communications, has announced its acquisition of Setanta Sports Asia, a premium sports channel specialising in rugby.
Reaching more than 42 million homes across 16 countries, Setanta Sports Asia super serves passionate fans with some of the best rugby league and union events from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The acquisition is bolstered by Setanta’s five-year renewal of SANZAR (South African, New Zealand and Australian Rugby) rights, including all home international matches, plus Super Rugby – both of which represent some of the most sought-after rugby union properties. In addition to the SANZAR rights, key programming includes European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup, National Rugby League, Aviva Premiership and Guinness Pro 12.
“The acquisition of Setanta Sports Asia is an important investment for Discovery as we further build scale and expand our business in Asia. Just over a year ago, Discovery gained a controlling interest in Eurosport – a bold play that took our company into the exciting arena of sports,” said JB Perrette, President of Discovery Networks International. “Similar to the strategy we have adopted for Eurosport, we will look to build on the strengths of Setanta and fortify its leadership as a must-have sports channel across Asia.”
Perrette added, “We will continue our steady investment in premium sports for Asia. The recent investments in the exclusive media rights for Champions League in Singapore on Eurosport, and now Setanta Sports Asia, demonstrate our commitment to building our portfolio and presence in the region. We are also very pleased to have Peter Hutton, who joined us a few months ago as CEO of Eurosport, leading the strategy of our newest global brand. Peter has excelled in the sports media business and his extensive international experience in multiple markets, including Asia, will boost our momentum.”
In total, Setanta Sports Asia airs more than 500 rugby matches per season on HD and SD feeds across the region. The channel’s multi-device player, Setanta Sports Plus, is widely accessible through online, tablets and smartphones.