BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Barely a week after M-League organiser Football Malaysia LLP (FMLLP) announced its match broadcasting deal with video-on-demand service iflix, it has announced another deal.
Under this deal with Malaysian telecommunications provider Telekom Malaysia, the Malaysia Super League (MSL), Malaysia's top tier will be known as the unifi Malaysia Super League, while the Malaysia Cup will be known as the unifi Malaysia Cup beginning this season, announced FMLLP on Thursday.
The deal will run for eight years, with the Malaysian FA (FAM) adding on Friday that it is worth RM480 million (USD123,518,400), or RM60 million a year. FAM described the contract as the biggest in the history of Malaysian sports.
Under a recent branding move, Telekom Malaysia (TM) has placed all of its Internet services under the unifi brand. As part of the deal with FMLLP, the company's internet television channel will also broadcast two out of six MSL matches on every matchday. On top of this, they will also air Charity Shield, Malaysia Cup, FA Cup and a handful of Malaysia Premier League matches.
FAM president and FMLLP chairman, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim commented, “I am very happy with this landmark partnership, which is the biggest in Malaysian sports history, is a testament to TM’s confidence that football and the Malaysian league is a key commercial and unity driver in this country.’’
FMLLP Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Ramalingam commented, “TM’s long-term commitment is a glowing reflection on the value of Malaysian football and its reach. They have always been a big supporter of football and Malaysian sports in general. We are pleased that unifi, the country’s household brand name will be fronting this in bringing all Malaysians together to cheer on their favourite teams.’’
Commenting on the partnership, Dato’ Sri Shazalli Ramly, Managing Director/Group Chief Executive Officer of TM said, “We are excited to continue our collaboration with FMLLP
towards the development of local football scene and to bring more moments of the national football league, now known as “unifi Liga Super Malaysia”, to more Malaysians. Every football fan in Malaysia can now catch every match of the league and watch their favourite teams, as ALL the matches will be available LIVE on unifi TV and across all screens, accessible via unifi PlayTV app. unifi is taking the lead in enabling a converged experience to meet the digital lifestyles of our customers. With this collaboration, unifi is now the one and only to offer the best “LIVE” football moments in full HD on your TV screens at home, and everywhere on unifi PlayTV app where you can watch it on any tablet and mobile devices anytime, anywhere.”
The Malaysia Premier League meanwhile will still be officially known as the 100Plus Malaysia Premier League, under a deal that began in the 2016 season.
On top of the purported RM60 million per year from TM, the M-League has been promised a huge amount of sponsorship money already this season. An earlier marketing deal by Ampersand Sports is set to net RM20 million, while the iflix deal is worth at least RM10 million. If everything goes to plan, the M-League will bag around RM90 million in 2018 alone.