Emily Tan
Feb 24, 2016

ASN to rebrand to Sports Illustrated after deal with Time Inc

HONG KONG - Time Inc has struck a deal with ASN to launch a Sports Illustrated sports broadcasting and digital network across Asia, starting with the rebrand of pay TV sports channels ASN and ASN2 to Sports Illustrated and Sports Illustrated 2.

ASN to rebrand to Sports Illustrated after deal with Time Inc

The new channels are scheduled to launch around April or May 2016. 

The partners will collaborate on daily programming development, coverage of global sporting events and expansion of worldwide distribution across subscription video-on-demand (SVOD), OTT, digital, mobile and emerging platforms. 

According to a statement, the partnership takes advantage of Time's access, video, technology, marketing and international expansion intitiatives with ASN's well-established presence and growing popularity in the region. Currently, ASN is present in 29 million homes in Asia-Pacific. 

Time Inc will also provide the infrastructure technology for the networks’ websites and mobile apps that will power the launch and scalability of the initiative, and the two companies will work to cultivate new marketing and advertising sales opportunities.

This is Sports Illustrated's (SI) first venture into TV since the spin-off of Time Inc. "We're approaching this as a multiple multi-network deal," explaned Steve Marcopoto, president of Time Inc International. 

Currently, SI is present via several licensed editions in Asia, India and China. It will bring its "renowned journalism, iconic imagery and exceptional storytelling" to the partnership, continued Marcopoto. "ASN is known for premier live-event sports franchises. Around that we'll construct and fill out a more cohesive programming day with daily sports news roundups and the feature programming that SI does."

SI is also putting a new website together for ASN, which will soon be SI.com and training a local band of journalists who will eventually produce content for the channels.

In terms of opportunities, this move is a part of an overall transformation plan to move Time Inc from a publishing company to a branded content enterprise, said Marcopoto. "We have a stable of 90 brands globally that haven't been exploited widely. This is part and parcel of the brand."

Time Inc. International manages 147 licensing deals in 48 countries or regions, including brands such as InStyle, Fortune and People. 

“We are very excited to join forces with one of the most revered sports media brands in the world to build a full-fledged TV, web and mobile network,” said Tom Kressner, CEO and founder of ASN. “We feel that the partnership with Time Inc. is a recognition of our position as the ‘Home of American Sports in Asia.’ In the coming months, we will bring an unparalleled amount of high-calibre sports content to more platforms and in more local languages than ever."

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