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News Corp sees football as driver of Asian expansion

Media conglomerate News Corp (ASX: NNC) has bought mobile and Internet clip broadcast rights to Europe’s top football leagues, for exclusivity in Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia. The deal gives rights over the English Premier League for three years and a two-year agreement for other top European and international leagues.

Robert Thomson the company’s chief executive said, “European football is growing exponentially in popularity in Asia, particularly among the younger generation, whose passion for the game is complemented by a rapidly increasing adoption of smartphones”.

News Corp has long been keen to take advantage of the digital revolution and football’s popularity has been another equal article of faith. Thomson likes the deal. “Given that globalization and digitization are the two most profound and powerful trends of our era, digital delivery of European football in Asia is the sweetest of sweet spots”.

News Corp split into two publicly listed entities in June. New News Corp owns the global publishing assets while the more profitable entertainment arm now trades as 21st Century Fox (ASX: FOX).

Foolish takeaway

New News Corp has been well received by investors and a decisive federal election win for the Coalition would be a welcome boost.  Among other commercial interests, its pay TV business Foxtel may benefit from a change of government and that looks odds-on.

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Motley Fool contributor Tom Richardson does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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