News Corp is offloading a football highlights mobile app in a deal that will give it a stake in a video service co-owned by nine of the world’s top clubs.
The Rupert Murdoch-led media giant says Dugout – a venture that counts Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich among its owners – has agreed to acquire BallBall, which delivers content including near-live highlights of the world’s top leagues to fans in southeast Asia.
News Corp did not give the financial details of the deal announced on Wednesday, but said it will have a minority stake in a new business called Dugout SE Asia that will eventually expand beyond BallBall’s current market of Vietnam and Indonesia.
Dugout SE Asia’s board will include senior News Corp executive and former Chelsea media boss Simon Greenberg.
Singapore-based BallBall is the fourth-largest Facebook destination in both Vietnam and Indonesia, and Dugout chairman Elliot Richardson says the region is a hugely important market for the world’s biggest clubs.
Liverpool, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal are Dugout’s other co-owners, while Tottenham, AC Milan and Roma are among a total 77 clubs on the platform.
“The chance to work with News Corp as a partner is so exciting,” Mr Richardson said.
“We know that southeast Asia is a hugely important territory for football clubs and the brands we work with, so we look forward to giving football fans in the region a great experience.”