ZUG: Infront, the media rights agency headed by Philippe Blatter, has extended its Asian football business with through deals with the federations of Thailand, Bangladesh and Laos.

The deals include the rights to home matches for the senior teams of each federation – including tournament qualifiers and friendlies. The packages also include rights to under-23 and under-19 games.

Blatter, president and ceo of Infront Sports & Media AG since 2005, has built an influential career within the sports industry, independent of his uncle, FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

Infront’s progress has raised speculation about its ultimate ambitions in the region. Media and commercial rights for the Asian Football Confederation have long since been controlled by World Sports Group.

Infront Sports & Media already handles the rights of another Asian national soccer federation – the Qatar Football Association – through its AspireInfront joint venture.

As part of the multi-year deals, Infront will market all live and delayed coverage, highlights and news rights across all platforms and for all territories outside of the respective domestic markets.

Throughout the year, each country’s senior team competes in approximately six to seven matches that will be available to broadcasters worldwide.

The announcement follows the draw for the second qualification round for the 2018 Fifa World Cup. Bangladesh, in Asian Football Confederation (AFC) qualifier Group B, will play Australia, Jordan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Laos, in Group G, will play Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Myanmar. While Thailand, in Group F, will play Iraq, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Chinese Taipei.

Ian Mathie, managing director of Infront Pan-Asia, said: “Our target throughout the coming years will be to further boost the visibility of Asian football from youth to elite level, helping to promote the teams and players internationally.”


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