Dentsu, Infront win Fifa broadcast marketing rights in Asia for next 2 soccer World Cups

MUMBAI: Japanese advertising giant Dentsu Inc and Swiss sports event marketing major Infront Sports & Media AG have won the Asia broadcasting rights for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups and for all soccer games to be organised by the sport's world governing body Fifa between 2007 and 2014.

The rights cover television, radio, broadband Internet and mobile telephony.
Dentsu and Infront came together to form a joint venture to ward off a daring attempt by "upstart" entrant into the soccer telecast game Nimbus Sport, which put in a bid worth a reported $ 269 million for the same rights. Sister concern Nimbus Communications was recently in the news when it won the telecast rights to India cricket for four years running from 1 March, 2006 to 31 March, 2010 with a monster bid of $612.18 million.

A point of note is that Dentsu acquired the Japanese broadcasting rights for the same events in 2005. Following the new announcement made by president Tateo Mataki on Saturday, Dentsu's control over Fifa events now effectively extends to most of Asia.

Dentsu did not say how much it paid for the rights, nor which countries the rights covered, but information available with indicates that the consortium bid made by Dentsu and Infront, which was the incumbent, is estimated to be worth between $300-310 million. The 29-country deal covers the whole of Asia east of Iran and excluding Japan.

In terms of a value proposition, four countries that make up North Asia account for 55-60 per cent of the bid amount. This includes China, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. South and South East Asia would take up the remaining 40-45 per cent of the bid value and include Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Philippines and Singapore as major territories.

Commenting on the deal, Dentsu MD international headquarters Haruyuki Takahashi said, "This expanded role is the result of our long and rewarding partnership with Fifa. As Fifa’s sales representative, Dentsu, together with Infront Sports and Media, will enhance its role as a communications company by contributing to the expansion of the world of football."

Infront Sports and Media president and CEO Oscar Frei said, "Both parties are strong in Asia and understand the Fifa property very well based on our successful histories of working together with Fifa. This decision also recognises Infront’s growing presence in the critically important market of Asia and we are grateful to Fifa for entrusting the Dentsu/Infront partnership with this important growth market for football.”

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