Asian sports network ESPN Start Sports (ESS) has agreed an expansive broadcast deal with England's Football Association (FA).
Under terms of the new deal, which was negotiated by international media rights company MP & Silva, ESS has acquired the exclusive multi-platform media rights to the FA Cup, the FA Community Shield and all home games played by England's national soccer team and the Under-21 side for the next six years.
ESS's rights acquisition, financial details of which were not released, covers the South Asia region and includes India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Maldives, Bhutan and Nepal.
The new deal begins 3rd November and will run until 2018.
“Having a season round offering of football is at the heart of our dominance of the Indian sports market, and the unique stories that the FA Cup creates every year is a very welcome part of our line-up," said ESS managing director Peter Hutton. "The FA Cup was seen in India long before the Premier League and the other European leagues, and we're very proud to be able to continue the tradition."
The FA's group commercial director Stuart Turner added, "ESPN Star Sports has a stellar track record for growing the popularity of English football in Asia and we look forward to extending this strong relationship in the coming years. We are excited to work with ESPN Star Sports who will continue to provide excellent exposure for the England team and the FA Cup on a multi-platform basis in key Asian markets. These markets are important to us and we're going to be putting together some exciting initiatives in India in particular, including bringing the FA Cup out to the sub-continent”