Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation has taken over ESPN Star Sports buying out the sport network’s 50% share in the business. No financial figures were disclosed.
ESPN Star Sports covers 24 countries across Asia in multiple languages and over all platforms.
ESS managing director Manu Sawhney will be replaced by Peter Hutton, currently SVP of Sports for Fox International Channels.
News Corporation spokesperson James Murdoch said the acquisition enhances the firm’s sports programming position in emerging markets.
Havas Sports and Entertainment will launch a media campaign to promote the French Open in China. The job will include event concept development and production, press relations and digital strategy.
With the theme: ‘Roland-Garros in Beijing’ the initiative will focus on the culture of tennis and will celebrate the Grand Slam title awarded to the Chinese star Li Na at last year’s tournament.
Agency director Xavier Daurian said more than 116 million people watched Li Na and this made Roland Garros a major event in China. The Roland Garros event is being held this week at Beijing’s landmark shopping plaza The Place.
In sponsorship news, the Bangladesh Cricket Board has finalized deals with two Indian technology firms which will raise its total sponsorship portfolio to about USD $14 million.
Aamby Valley, a subsidiary of Sahara India Parivar will replace Grameenphone as the sponsor of the Bangladesh national team in a four-year deal. The company will also have branding rights and will back the national cricket academy.
Axiom Technologies will sponsor venues and will acquire beverage and ticketing rights for the next three years.
Hyundai has agreed to become the biggest sponsor of the Chinese Football Association. The $6.3 million deal includes a further $6.3 million bonus if China reaches the final round of Asia in qualifying for the 2018 Fifa World Cup.
The week rounded off with media deals. Li TV has joined the Standard Chartered KL Marathon as the latest broadcast partner. The channel will run trailers on preparations leading up to the event and after-event sessions. The marathon is set to go in less than a month and is expected to attract some 28,000 runners.
The England and Wales Cricket Board has renewed its broadcast arrangements with ESPN Star Sports for Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.
The seven-year extension is worth a reported US$200 million and will allow the broadcaster to screen all England home internationals in all three forms of the game, as well as 60 days' coverage of English domestic cricket, across the region from 2013 until 2019.
The term covers three Ashes tours by Australia, in 2013, 2015 and 2019, as well as two by India in 2014 and 2018. Various England Lions, England Under-19s and England women's games will also be included.
The board’s chief executive David Collier said the arrangement shows the worldwide appetite for cricket and the global attraction of a successful British team.