Commenting on the deal, Discovery Networks International president, JB Perrette, said that it marked an “important investment for Discovery” as it looks to further expand its business in Asia.
“Similar to the strategy we have adopted for Eurosport, we will look to build on the strengths of Setanta and fortify its leadership as a must-have sports channel across Asia,” said Perrette.
Setanta Sports Asia claims to reach more than 42 million homes across 16 countries in the region. It broadcasts rugby league and union events and recently renewed its rights to South African, New Zealand and Australian Rugby.
It also has the rights to European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup, National Rugby League, Aviva Premiership and Guinness Pro 12.
Discovery said that it will continue to invest in premium sports for Asia, having recently bought exclusive Champions League football rights for Eurosport in Singapore. Setanta Sports Asia demonstrates its “commitment to building our portfolio and presence in the region,” said Perrette.
Peter Hutton, who recently joined Discovery as CEO of Eurosport, will lead the strategy for Setanta Sports Asia following the takeover.