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Eleven Sports to launch new service for the UK and Ireland




Sports streaming service Eleven Sports has unveiled a new partnership that will lead to the launch of two new sports channels in the UK and Ireland next month.

The company has the rights to Serie A and La Liga football in the UK and Ireland, and has now tied up with sports media company IMG in the UK and Ireland to strengthen its position in the market.

Eleven Sports 1 and Eleven Sports 2 will launch in August via an online streaming platform, with full details and pricing to be announced soon.

But the company has also confirmed it is in discussions with other major platforms in the UK and Ireland to offer "the widest possible access to the premium action available on the service", in line with a 'platform agnostic' approach it has taken in its other international markets.

Eleven Sports 1 will be a 100% football channel, showcasing some of the biggest leagues and leading players, while Eleven Sports 2 promises to provide premium fight sports, eSports and extreme sports.

IMG will produce the output for both channels from its production HQ at Stockley Park.

The company will also provide four 'pop-up' event channels that will spring into action whenever there's a schedule clash. Fans will also have access to LaLiga TV on Eleven Sports - a 24/7 in-house channel that features documentaries, magazine shows and other exclusive La Liga content.

Eleven Sports is led by Marc Watson, the former head of BT TV. Speaking of the partnership between Eleven Sports and IMG, he said:
“IMG adds significant resources to our operations and they will contribute greatly to our innovative way of delivering more contemporary sports coverage that appeals to today’s audience.”

Adam Kelly, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales, IMG Media, added:
"We are excited about this new partnership with Eleven Sports and the launch of the two new sports channels in the UK and Ireland. Eleven has shown, in a relatively short time, they are an innovative and creative company and we believe our vast experience and knowledge of the sports media rights business, alongside our production expertise will play an important part in making these two new channels a big success in the UK and Ireland. Going direct to consumer is a natural evolution of our overall business and very much part of our strategy to search for new commercial avenues for our clients.”

The Netflix of Sport?
London-based Eleven Sports was founded in 2015 as part of a new batch of sports streaming companies that look set to change sports broadcasting in the same way Netflix has changed the ways audiences watch and access drama series and movies. So far, the company has been active in the UK, Belgium, Poland, Portugal, Taiwan, Singapore and the USA. Rival sports streamer DAZN, also based in London, and also founded in 2015, is doing similar things in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, the USA and Canada. Both have scored early successes by taking key football rights deals from traditional broadcasters, including Sky and BT. And while many of the new streamers have decided to be either a sports streamer or a series/movie streaming provider, Amazon, which has recently acquired various tennis and football rights, is attempting to do both.




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