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Telekom Malaysia returns to Malaysian football in sponsorship and broadcast deal

(Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)

Telekom Malaysia (TM)’s association with the Malaysia Football League (MFL) has been revived in a new sponsorship and broadcast rights contract.

The operator’s TM Multimedia subsidiary has signed a three-year deal which begins with the forthcoming 2020 domestic football season in Malaysia.

Telekom Malaysia’s eight-year sponsorship and media rights agreement with the Malaysian Football League was terminated in March 2019. That deal had been worth RM60m (€12.8m/$14.5m) per year. That collapse led to the MFL announcing at the end of last year that it was unable to distribute the remainder of media rights revenues owed to clubs.

The sponsorship element in the new agreement includes title rights to the Malaysia Cup, branded as the TM Malaysia Cup, as well as co-sponsorship of all the country’s other domestic competitions, namely the top-tier Super League, second-tier Premier League, FA Cup and Challenge Cup.

The agreement also incorporates exclusive broadcast and mobile and online streaming rights to all the above competitions. Every Super League and Malaysian cup match will be streamed live via TM’s Unifi IPTV platforms. Selected FA Cup matches will also be shown.

The content will also be accessible through online streaming via Play TV Unifi.

MFL had heralded the previous agreement as the biggest ever in domestic sport in the country. It included pay-television rights to all matches from the top-tier Super League, the second-tier Premier League and the Malaysia FA Cup, and title sponsorship of league and cup competitions. It had been set to run from 2018 to 2025.

The termination led to the halting of TM acquiring new content, including sports media rights, for Unifi.

Read this: Malaysian domestic football deal collapse signals Telekom Malaysia retreat

Commenting on the new agreement, league president Datuk Hamidun Mohd Amin Hamidin said: “TM’s long-term commitment reflects the value and potential of the Malaysian League.’’

Despite the collapse of the TM deal, the MFL still had two domestic media rights broadcasters for the 2019 season in OTT platform iFlix and public-service broadcaster RTM. iFlix streamed all Super League matches and RTM showed two Super League matches per week live.

The 2020 MFL season begins when the Super League kicks off on February 28. The current holders are Johor Darul Ta’zim Football Club.