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OneFootball secures deal with Sportradar

Berlin-based football media company OneFootball will be able to bring live games of South Korea's K League to selected countries.

Berlin-based football media company OneFootball will be able to bring live games of South Korea’s K League to selected countries.

OneFootball will broadcast live coverage of the K League to users in France, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom and Brazil as part of the deal with Sportradar – who were appointed to sell the K League’s international rights from 2020 to 2024.

On OneFootball’s app, there will be two or three K League matches available for the remainder of the 2020 season, which will then continue for the entirety of the 2021 season.

“With more than 44 million active users per season globally, OneFootball is the most popular digital media platform for the new generation of football fans,” OneFootball said in a statement.

“This distribution partnership will allow the K League to tap into a vast userbase of young and highly engaged ‘mobile-first’ football enthusiasts in some of OneFootball’s core markets.

“OneFootball will work closely with the K League and Sportradar in developing a bespoke in-app marketing strategy to enhance visibility of the offer and maximize engagement.”

OneFootball specialises in providing live scores, statistics and news from 200 leagues and covers 12 languages as a leading source of news for football fans.

“Our flexible and convenient approach to in-app live streaming in combination with our very engaged userbase of football fanatics, will benefit the K League’s growth in international markets,” Lucas von Cranach, chief executive and founder of OneFootball, said.

Sportradar has previously arranged broadcast deals in countries such as China, Hong Kong and Croatia. They also partnered up with digital platforms including Dugout (in Singapore), 433 (in the Netherlands) and Copa90 (in the UK).

“Partnering with OneFootball who, like us, are leaders in the digital field, is a tremendous opportunity to expand the audience and brand of the K League beyond its current reach of over forty countries, Lutz Tigges, senior director, media rights at Sportradar, said.

“Be it live coverage, highlights or short form clips, visual moving images still capture the raw emotion which is football and to have one of Asia’s best leagues reach a global audience is nothing but a win-win for all of us.”

Liam Watson is the Managing Editor at Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

Acun Medya Group secures Hull City takeover

EFL Championship side Hull City AFC has been purchased by Turkish production company Acun Medya Group, headed by Acun Ilicali.

EFL Championship side Hull City AFC has been purchased by Turkish production company Acun Medya Group, for a fee in the reported region of $37 million AUD.

Acun Ilicali, a 52-year-old businessman and owner of Acun Medya Group, was introduced to fans at the MKM Stadium prior to the club’s 2-0 win at home over Blackburn Rovers.

The takeover brings the controversial ownership of the Allam family to an end, much to the delight of fans after a roller coaster 11 years in charge.

Despite overseeing two promotions to the Premier League, an FA Cup Final and Hull’s first-ever foray into a European competition through the UEFA Europa League in 2014, the Allam family became increasingly unpopular with the fans.

The unpopularity of the Allam family is due to many different reasons, however it all started when the family proposed a name change to ‘Hull Tigers’ back in 2013. The move was ultimately blocked by authorities a year later, which frustrated the Allams and they then put the club up for sale, straining the relationship with fans and seeing a decline in attendances at home fixtures.

The new ownership will look to win back supporters and turn the negative tide.

Acun Medya Group Owner, Acun Ilicali:

“I am happy that I have fulfilled one of my biggest dreams. We are starting a beautiful journey with Hull City. We have many big dreams and goals to achieve together with our fans,” he said.

Outgoing Vice-Chairman Ehab Allam:

“During our tenure, we have worked hard to create a sustainable model and successful academy set-up, giving the club the foundations it needs for the future,” he said.

“There have been lots of ups and downs over the last 11 years or so, but we will take some very fond memories with us… We have taken a very business-led approach to running the club and I truly hope Acun can rebuild the relationship with the fanbase and also bring back the success on the pitch that fans crave and deserve.”

Hertha Berlin pushing hard for stadium upgrade

Top-flight German football club Hertha Berlin has reiterated its intention to develop a new stadium nearby to the Olympiastadion.

Top-flight German football club Hertha Berlin has reiterated its intention to develop a new stadium nearby to its current home, the Olympiastadion, releasing fresh renderings of its vision for such a project.

The club has been attempting to progress plans to develop a new home for several years and in February 2020 stated that the OlympiaPark would be the preferred location.

In November 2018, Hertha confirmed it was targeting an opening date in July 2025 for a new-look Olympiastadion, with preference to be building a completely new stadium rather than renovating the current one.

The current Olympiastadion has been home to Hertha Berlin for almost 60 years, and has a capacity of around 74,000. However, the club is seeking a more intimate stadium for its fans, as well as the inclusion of an athletics track.

Hertha’s former stadium commissioner, Klaus Teichert, withdrew an application for a decision to be made on the location for a new stadium, with Brandenburg also put forward as a potential location.

Hertha Berlin Chief Financial Officer, Ingo Schiller:

“We have entered into talks with the new government and are working hard to set the course for our new stadium in 2022,” he said.

“The stadium is the club’s most important project, especially in terms of the economic situation.”

There is a lot of political support necessary for the project to get approved, as the potential worksite currently includes residential apartments, a big reason for negotiations coming to a stall at times.

A resident spoke to local radio station rbb24:

“You talk about ir, but not with us. We are still not prepared to sell our apartments in Sportforumstraße or to negotiate about them,” they said.

“It is very unfortunate that our residents in Sportforumstraße are once again unsettled by this uncoordinated approach.”

Hertha Berlin and backers of the new stadium have been in negotiation with Berlin’s sports senator, Iris Spranger, with talks to continue over the next month.

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