OTT & Digital

Rolling sports business news wrap: Every deal, every day

Top story: Pacquiao v Matthysse to air exclusively in US on ESPN+.

by Tom Bassam

Rolling sports business news wrap: Every deal, every day

Top story

Manny Pacquiao’s upcoming WBA welterweight title fight with Lucas Matthysse will be streamed exclusively in the US on over-the-top (OTT) service ESPN+


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The event marks Pacquiao’s first fight since his shock defeat to Jeff Horn in July, 2017. That broadcast was ESPN's most-watched boxing telecast since 2006.

Pacquiao challenges Matthysse at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with the 39-year-old's fellow Filipino Jhack Tepora facing Edivaldo Ortega for the vacant WBA featherweight title on the undercard. 

“This extraordinary event only affirms ESPN’s commitment to providing boxing fans with the biggest and best fights in the sport,” said Bob Arum, founder and chief executive of Top Rank, the fight promoter. “Manny Pacquiao is one of the greatest champions in boxing history, and his fight against Matthysse promises to be a sensational one.”

“This matchup is a perfect example of the world-class calibre of events we envisioned for ESPN+ when we announced our agreement with Top Rank,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN executive vice president of programming. “[The fight] shows the commitment we have to delivering fans the best of boxing year-round on our direct-to-consumer platform.”


Bathroom appliances manufacturer Hansgrohe has renewed its title sponsorship of German UCI WorldTour cycling team Bora-Hansgrohe until 2020.

Energy company Illumia has retained and expanded its sponsorship deal with Serie A soccer outfit Bologna, becoming the back of shirt sponsor for the 2018/19 season.

German Bundesliga soccer club FC Augsburg have extended their partnership with US sportswear manufacturer Nike through 2021.

In Spain, Deportivo Alaves have confirmed that last season's main shirt sponsor, cosmetics company LEA, will retain branding on the back of their shirts as an official partner for the upcoming La Liga season.

In the second tier, CF Reus Deportiu have signed a four-year kit supply deal with Kelme.

Indian staffing services firm Quess Corp has taken on title sponsorship of top-flight Indian soccer club, East Bengal in a deal that also sees the company become an investor.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has unveiled Japanese sportswear manufacturer Asics as an official supplier until the end of 2020

Media Rights

Pay-television broadcaster Sky has acquired rights in the UK and Ireland to cricket’s 2018 Caribbean Premier League.

The Event Rider Masters equestrian series has appointed London-based sports and events agency The Sports Consultancy to support the sale of its sponsorship rights.

Bidding & Hosting

The US has been named host of the next three editions of the Men’s Volleyball Nations League (VNL) Finals by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB)

Movers & Shakers

The UK government has appointed John Crabtree as chairman of the local organising committee for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Store of the Day

The English Rugby Football Union (RFU) has announced the re-opening of its official at Twickenham in partnership with official retailer Fanatics. The US sportswear company undertook a year-long research and development exercise to create the store re-design, which gets its first matchday action when England host South Africa in the first of November's Quilter Internationals on 3rd November.

Our industry digest will update throughout the day as deals break so check back to make sure you do not miss a story