ESPN-STAR Sports (ESS) and Formula One Management (FOM) have agreed to renew their relationship for another five years. The new agreement awards ESS exclusive rights to broadcast the FIA Formula One World Championships (F1) across multiple platforms in 24 Asian markets.
Hailed as a landmark deal for ESS and FOM in Asia, the former will get exclusive rights to showcase F1 action across platforms, including TV, Internet, mobile and radio. The deal includes a number of firsts for F1 in Asia – for the first time Formula One rights have been awarded on a platform neutral basis; for the first time radio rights have been included; for the first time ESS will have terrestrial rights in a number of key markets; and for the first time F1 content will be made available on a linear and non-linear basis.
The rights would cover ESS footprint in Asia, including the major markets of India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea.
Manu Sawhney, Managing Director, ESPN STAR Sports, said, “We are extremely delighted to continue our 17-year strong partnership with Formula One Management through this historic new agreement. It is an ideal example of how partners can work together to build and grow a property. ESS continues to be committed to further popularise and build the sport of motor racing amongst fans in Asia, and we are very confident that now with many new platforms and avenues, including Internet, mobile and radio, F1 fans in Asia can look forward to the most comprehensive and entertaining experience with us.”
Bernie Ecclestone, CEO, Formula One Management, said, “We are very pleased to have reached this agreement extending our relationship with ESPN STAR Sports for a further five years. Formula One has enjoyed unprecedented growth in popularity throughout Asia over the last few years and we feel that this comprehensive new agreement with ESS will help continue this trend.”
With the addition of the maiden night race scheduled to be held on September 28 in Singapore and the introduction of races in India and South Korea in 2010, F1 profile and popularity amongst Asia’s sports fans is growing continuously. With new rights, including Internet, mobile and radio, in addition to exclusive pay-TV and terrestrial TV rights in many key markets, ESS will soon announce its plans for the extended coverage and presentation for the next Formula One season on these platforms.