American football is to get a bigger kick in Asia. The National Football League has signed a major TV deal with Hong Kong-based Yes TV.
Deal covers simulcast rights in all media across Asia, a distribution weak spot for the game, including the Indian sub-continent but excluding Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
Yes TV, headed by former Morgan Stanley executive director Thomas Kressner, specializes in sports content aggregation and production of sports channels.
American football is likely to piggyback on the massive popularity of soccer in the region. With Astro, the Malaysian pay TV giant, Yes jointly owns Goal TV which claims to be Asia’s only 24-hour soccer network.
Yes TV will announce other carriage deals and distribution partners on terrestrial, pay TV, broadband and mobile platforms in coming weeks.
“The National Football League is one of the most successful sports leagues in the world,” Yes TV CEO Kressner, said. “We have a track record in building significant viewership for European soccer leagues across Asia, and are now very pleased to have the chance to do the same for the NFL.”
Yes TV provides exclusive coverage in Asia of the French, Dutch and Scottish premier soccer leagues, plus programs and matches from leading English soccer clubs Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool and Spain’s FC Barcelona.