Time Inc., New York, has finalized a deal to rebrand two Asian sports pay TV channels as Sports Illustrated.
The deal, which marks the magazine brand’s first major return to television in more than 10 years, is with Hong Kong-based All Sports Network Ltd., an operator of two channels that carry numerous sports programs, including the National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL) and NASCAR.
The network currently reaches 29 million homes in 12 Asian territories, though the Philippines, Thailand and Hong Kong are its largest markets, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“We’ve been underserved internationally,” says Rich Battista, Time Inc. executive vice president and president, entertainment and sports group/video. “What it shows is that we can leverage our brands across different platforms.”
Thomas Kressner, the chief executive of All Sports Network, says the motive for the rebranding is to boost the reach of the two channels, increase their viewership and make them more attractive for ad sales.
For more information, visit timeinc.com. — J.B.