As part of its long term international growth strategy, the EFL yesterday held its first Asian summit in Beijing with representatives of Club owners, prospective partners and the Chinese business community. The Summit took place just hours before the Carabao Cup Round Three draw made its debut in the Chinese capital.
Attendees first heard from EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey, who spoke of the EFL’s ambition to build on current domestic and international success to boost the organisation’s profile in ASEAN markets. Commercial Director Ben Wright then talked through the EFL’s commercial objectives, before a Q&A with the international media took place.
The EFL has a truly global appeal and continues to strengthen its reputation as one of the most watched competitions in the world, with live matches broadcast to over 170 territories across the world and attracting multi-million pound investment from international owners, including sponsors of both EFL Clubs and EFL competitions.
Fans in China and across the world now have greater access to the EFL than ever before and can follow their Club live this season, with matches distributed by Supersports and streamed via the EFL’s new international streaming platform, iFollow.
EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey said: “The Summit is part of a strategic plan to grow the EFL internationally and boost our profile and exposure in Asia that will hopefully lead to increased investment into our competitions.
“Importantly our new international TV deals also provide the perfect platform to showcase the EFL, our Clubs and the players across China, as well as our new international streaming platform iFollow which allows fans to access live EFL matches across the world.
“It is important that we continue to develop our global network to create opportunities for all 72 of our Clubs and we look forward to continuing this work over the coming months.”
It was also announced yesterday that MCOT Public Company Limited had been unveiled as the EFL’s official Thai broadcast partner for the 2017-18 season.
Formerly known as the Mass Communication Organisation of Thailand, MCOT Plc. is Thailand’s leading media organisation and has been granted the license to broadcast live Sky Bet EFL and Carabao Cup fixtures for the 2017-18 season.
Matches will be broadcast live on two territorial channels; 9 MCOT HD and MCOT Family, providing EFL fans in Thailand with more than 100 live EFL and Carabao Cup fixtures throughout the course of the season, with weekly highlights also available to viewers on the following day of each game.
“This is great news for our clubs and football supporters living in or visiting Thailand,” said EFL Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey. “We are delighted to have MCOT on board as one of our key international broadcast partners in a market that has added significance for the EFL as it is home to new Carabao Cup Sponsor, Carabao Energy Drink.
“Having a prominent presence internationally has never been as important to clubs who are looking to further establish themselves in key overseas territories such as Thailand. Regular coverage of the Sky Bet EFL and Carabao Cup on MCOT can only assist them in delivering on their international aims and objectives as well as providing a great platform for the EFL to showcase its competitions.”
Kematat Paladesh, President of MCOT Plc. added: “We are thrilled to be the official broadcaster with exclusive rights in telecasting the EFL and the Carabao Cup live. For this upcoming season MCOT Plc. will broadcast more than 100 matches starting in September. This is a great opportunity for English football fans in Thailand to follow their favourite team.”
As a result of a new international TV rights agreement for the 2017/18 season, EFL League and Carabao Cup games will be broadcast or streamed into 170 countries with a reach of almost 614 million households across Asia, Africa, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Oceania; reinforcing the EFL’s reputation as one of the most watched competitions in world football.