Discovery Networks Asia Pacific has acquired the rugby-focused Setanta Sports Asia, expanding its network that last year included the acquisition of Eurosport.
Discovery said Setanta Sports Asia reaches more than 42 million homes across 16 countries and is one of the fastest-growing sports channels in Asia.
The acquisition is bolstered by Setanta’s five-year renewal of the South African, New Zealand and Australian Rugby rights, including all home international matches, plus Super Rugby – both of which represent some of the most sought-after rugby union properties.
Key programming also includes European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup, National Rugby League, Aviva Premiership and Guinness Pro 12.
JB Perrette, president of Discovery Networks International, described the acquisition of Setanta Sports Asia an important investment as it looks to build scale and expand the business in Asia.
“Just over a year ago, Discovery gained a controlling interest in Eurosport – a bold play that took our company into the exciting arena of sports,” Perrette said.
“Similar to the strategy we have adopted for Eurosport, we will look to build on the strengths of Setanta and fortify its leadership as a must-have sports channel across Asia.”
He added that premium sports in Asia would continue to be a focus.
“The recent investments in the exclusive media rights for Champions League in Singapore on Eurosport, and now Setanta Sports Asia, demonstrate our commitment to building our portfolio and presence in the region.
Discovery has secured Peter Hutton as CEO of Eurosport to lead global brand strategy for the brand.
“Peter has excelled in the sports media business and his extensive international experience in multiple markets, including Asia, will boost our momentum.”