News Corp launches online and mobile soccer highlights in East Asia

Media giant News Corp has launched “near-live” highlights of soccer matches on mobile and online platforms in East Asia.

The announcement:

Hong Kong – August 16, 2013 News Corp (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; Temp. ASX tickers: NNC, NNCLV) announced today the launch of a new mobile and online product to deliver near-live highlights of the world’s leading football leagues and other exclusive content to the world’s fastest growing markets in East Asia.

BallBall will initially target fans in Indonesia, Vietnam and Japan, a combined market of more than 400 million people, with exclusive highlight clips, including every goal from England’s Barclays Premier League. The Jeepâ brand has signed on as launch sponsor for BallBall across all three territories.

As a new initiative, BallBall was developed by leveraging existing resources and collaboration from across News Corp, including Fox Sports Australia, News UK, Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal.

“BallBall’s launch is a significant moment in the e-evolution of the new News,” said Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp. “It is all about the mobility of unique content and the upward mobility of Asia. As well as exclusive highlights, our company has unique access to great football writing, statistics, and the players, both on the field and in the industry, and we will bring Asian fans much closer to the action. Football is the ultimate global sport in an era of globalization and digitization – this new company will ride the momentum of those two mega-trends.”

BallBall (@ballball) features video highlights from more than 1,600 games – viewable only to fans in Japan, Indonesia and Vietnam – with exclusive clips, including England’s Barclays Premier League, Bundesliga (Germany), Ligue 1 (France), Serie A (Italy), FA Cup (England), Championship (England), Capital One Cup (England), Brazilian Championship, and Major League Soccer. BallBall will also provide Match Day previews and post-game packages. The mobile app is available to download to smartphones in the three regions via the Android marketplace. In addition, will carry video, viewable only in those regions, as well as related match coverage.

Match clips will be complemented by live scores and a live stream of expert coverage, commentary and analysis from The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun as well as information on national team players, and forthcoming local news sources, contributors and user-generated content. Users can personalize the app to follow their favorite teams and activate alerts for video and updated news. All content is available in local language, while fans can share, read and create communities of content and interact with other fans around the world.

Additional social features, match data, statistics analysis, new functionality and iOS availability will be added over the coming months.

News Corp has appointed Unmish Parthasarathi, formerly of Fox Sports Asia, as General Manager of BallBall, based in Singapore. As announced recently, News Corp holds the exclusive English Premier League mobile and Internet rights in Japan, Indonesia and Vietnam for three years, through the 2015-16 season. The company has a two-year agreement for the additional leagues.

Source: press release


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