Radio station TalkSport, owned by Northern Ireland based broadcasting group UTV Media, has has agreed a deal with the Premier League for an exclusive package of international audio broadcasting rights for the next four football seasons.
“This is a huge development for talkSPORT which builds on the significant progress the station has made in the UK in recent years. I’m really excited about the potential for talkSPORT as a global brand, invoking the same passion in listeners and advertisers overseas as it does in the UK. We’ll be expanding our London office studio and production space and I can’t wait to see the buzz on matchdays.” Says Scott Taunton, Chief Executive, TalkSport.
The deal will see the radio station become a global audio partner of the Premier League and broadcast commentary outside Europe on all 380 Barclays Premier League games in multiple languages, including English, Spanish and Mandarin in what is the biggest development for the broadcaster since its launch.
From August 2012, sports fans outside Europe will have access to a new global audio service from UTV Media offering unparalleled access to Premier League football, alongside other relevant sports audio, with distribution via the internet and mobile apps.
Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Scudamore, adds, “We are extremely pleased to enter into a new international agreement with talkSPORT and welcome them as our new global audio rights partner.
“talkSPORT currently offers excellent Barclays Premier League radio commentary coverage in the UK and we look forward to that being available to millions of fans across the globe with English, Spanish and Mandarin broadcasts in territories outside of Europe for four seasons from 2012/13.
“As we’re seeing in the closing stages of this season the Barclays Premier League is a compelling competition and radio rights are important to ensuring that as many fans as possible can follow the League and their club.”
TalkSport also intends to establish a network of global radio partners in markets such as Asia, North America and Africa. The station is already an official broadcaster of the Barclays Premier League in the UK, broadcasting 64 games a season.
Launched in 2000, UTV Media are proud of their sports radio station noting that it is the world’s largest dedicated sports audio service with an audience of over 3.2 million adults. TalkSport was named Sony Radio Academy Station of the Year in 2011.
“Since UTV acquired talkSPORT in 2005, we have invested significantly in sports rights and presenters to successfully reposition talkSPORT as the brand leader for sports audio content in the UK.
“Today’s agreement with the Premier League is part of UTV’s strategy to market talkSPORT globally. We look forward to building on talkSPORT’s reputation for quality sports content with international audiences and advertisers alike, backed up by UTV’s expertise in global digital delivery.” Said John McCann, Group Chief Executive, UTV Media plc.
Production of the international output will come from expanded studios at TalkSport’s existing premises in London and the station will also increase its editorial and commercial teams. UTV will use its New Media division, primarily to assist in the delivery of the project by providing digital marketing and technical expertise.
The project will also be supported by appropriate investment from UTV, with set up and pre-launch costs expected to be in the region of £0.8 million. The Agreement is expected to result in the service making a loss in the first year of operation of approximately £1.0m, with breakeven expected in the second year and the service is expected to be profitable thereafter.