SBJ/June 11 - 17, 2007/This Weeks News

Fox Soccer buys Premier’s Web, mobile highlights

Fox Soccer Channel is expected to announce this week that it has acquired the rights to show Barclays English Premier League highlights on U.S. mobile and Internet devices for the next three years.

Sources put the deal, which runs from the 2007-08 through 2009-10 seasons, in the $1.3 million to $2 million range annually. It covers both English- and Spanish-language rights, and marks the first offering of U.S. mobile and Internet rights by the English Premier League.

Fox Soccer Channel will begin providing Premier League highlights online at and on mobile devices this August. Sister networks Fox Sports en Español in the U.S. and Fox Sports Latin America will provide similar offerings in Spanish throughout the Americas.

The offerings will include highlights of all Premier League matches, a weekend roundup of all the games and packaged highlights like best goals, saves, players and teams. The mobile package will include in-game highlights so users can get updates of games already in progress.

Fox Soccer Channel is negotiating with major carriers to offer highlights on wireless phones. It may explore other avenues of digital distribution.

“The key word is ubiquity,” said Ed Derse, Fox Sports International’s vice president of interactive media. “The idea is to make this available on as many different platforms and to as many different partners as we can.”

Fox Soccer Channel reaches 30 million households nationwide. The highlights package offers the chance to expand the brand’s reach by more than 100 million additional consumers through cell phones and the Internet, said David Sternberg, executive vice president and general manager of Fox Soccer Channel.

The agreement comes on the heels of Fox Soccer Channel’s three-year broadcast rights deal with the Premier League, which it signed late last year. That agreement included the rights to distribute full matches via mobile devices and the Internet.

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