Origins of ELEVEN SPORTS NETWORK
ELEVEN SPORTS NETWORK aims to combine the best global sports content with specially-created content that resonates with the local audience.
June 26, 2016
By James Chen
ELEVEN SPORTS NETWORK has been going places. It has released a slew of announcements in recent time. One of which was its latest broadcast partnership with Toggle. In the second part of our interview with Joyee Biswas, ELEVEN SPORTS NETWORK’s new Asia Managing Director, we find out more about the sports content provider and its plans for the future.
1. Why was ELEVEN SPORTS NETWORK set up? What was missing amongst sports broadcasters which you felt you could offer?
Joyee Biswas: With networks taking a global approach towards their content and programming, we aim to adopt a different strategy by combining the best global sports content with specially-created content that resonates with the local audience.
So, as well as owning the rights to major international sports properties, we look to secure the rights to sports which are popular with the audience of specific countries, such as NBA in Belgium, handball, fight sports and Speedway in Poland, and badminton, table-tennis and baseball here in Asia. We constantly look to add to our portfolio of premium rights, and produce more native language content which is tailored to the local audience.
2. ELEVEN SPORTS NETWORK currently broadcasts in 5 markets, namely Belgium, Luxembourg, Poland, Singapore and Taiwan. What content do the channels carry? Why the choice of Belgium and Poland in your initial launch?
Joyee Biswas: Every country which ELEVEN operates in receives between 2,500 and 3,500 hours of top international sporting events annually, along with news, comprehensive analysis, digital content and local programming relevant to the specific audience. We have a non-exclusive distribution strategy, and aim to secure content on an exclusive basis to ensure we bring the best action to as many people as possible. For example, here in Singapore we are the Home of English football – we show Premier League, FA Cup, Community Shield, Capital One Cup and Football League – as well as other football and popular sports including badminton, baseball, basketball and tennis.
Led by our Group MD Danny Menken, we have a very thorough approach to identifying territories in which to launch, which includes looking at commercial viability, availability of key rights and market dynamics. With specific reference to Belgium and Poland, these countries will have met those requirements.
3. Should we be expecting you to add more footballing content?
Joyee Biswas: Yes, most definitely. We want to own the best football rights and that is always our primary focus, hence our name, ELEVEN. We continually add premium sports content to our offering, including other locally popular sports for the fans to enjoy.
4. You have recently added more sports genres like badminton and baseball. Are there any other types of sports that we should look out for?
Yes, we will continue to look out for content that has great appeal to the local audience, and we encourage our fans to let us know if there are any specific sports they would like to see on our channels.
5. Do you also have more broadcast partners in the works?
Our non-exclusive distribution strategy means we will continue to expand our distribution where possible. We are proud to enrich the offering available to the passionate sports fans in Asia, both here in Singapore and in Taiwan.
6. Besides Richard Lenton, the winner of our Asian Television Awards under the Best Sports Presenter / Commentator category, will you be expecting to sign up any more hosts?
Joyee Biswas: It is a pleasure to have Richard on the ELEVEN team and we are proud of his award. As a young network it is important that we continue to be on the lookout for both experienced pundits and fresh faces.
Another of our presenters, Ash Hisham, is the founder of the Futbolita blog and brings years of analytical football experience to the team. Both Ash and Richard present our new feature, the Wall, which is a daily news segment.
7. What more can we expect from Eleven Sports?
Joyee Biswas: We have accomplished so much in such a short space of time, and we will continue to grow our content offering and enhance the viewing experience for our fans. Stay tuned for more exciting news in the very near future.
8. Do you aspire to be the Netflix of Sports content?
Joyee Biswas: We aspire to be the ultimate sports destination for all sports fans in each of our markets. If that leads to us one day being compared to Netflix, then we certainly won’t complain!
9. What hashtag best describes the ambitions of ELEVEN SPORTS NETWORK?
Joyee Biswas: #FortheFans