Goal TV, TenSports ink multiyear deal

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NEW DELHI -- Dedicated football channel Goal TV -- a joint venture between Malaysian broadcaster Astro and Hong Kong's Yes TV -- and Dubai-based TenSports announced a multiyear deal Monday.

The deal allows Goal TV's football content to be shown on Ten Sports and Mumbai-based Zee Sports.

In November 2006, Zee Sports parent Zee Telefilms Ltd. acquired a 50% stake in Ten Sports holding company Dubai-based Taj TV Ltd., based on a total enterprise value of $114 million (5.13 billion rupees, of which Zee paid half).

Goal TV's content includes exclusive live soccer from the French, Scottish and Dutch premier leagues as well as games featuring English clubs Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool and top Spanish league club Barcelona.

The agreement also sees the production of Goal TV's two all-football channels shifting from Hong Kong to the Ten Sports headquarters in Dubai.

Goal TV claims to reach 60 million viewers in 16 countries while Ten Sports and Zee Sports claim a combined viewership base of 50 million households in the Indian subcontinent.

In a statement, Goal TV founder Thomas Kressner said: "It is an excellent development for us to partner with the Indian subcontinent's leading sports channel, with its huge daily audience and solid production experience."

Ten Sports senior vp Peter Hutton added: "This volume of excellent football content is part of a growing bouquet of football rights on Ten and Zee Sports. It supports our existing deals with the Uefa Champions League, Uefa Cup, Uefa Supercup, Fifa, AFC, the English championship and the All India football federation."

Following this agreement, Taj TV's portfolio now expands to include nine channels, ranging from Cricket Plus (for Directv in the U.S.) to the Football Channel for Singapore cable operator Starhub.
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