Eleven Sports Network will be taken off air by Singtel TV at the end of July, The Drum has learned.
The London-based Eleven is owned by Aser, a company which was founded by Italian businessman and Leeds United majority owner Andrea Radrizzani, who is also vice-chairman and founder of MP & Silva. Its channel on Singtel TV went live in 2015, airing sports content like the Serie A, English FA Cup and Capital One Cup.
A year later, Eleven struck a multi-year agreement with Singtel, which holds exclusive English Premier League broadcast rights in Singapore for three seasons until 2019, to screen three live EPL matches on a new channel called Eleven Plus Channel, and three delayed telecasts every week on their website and mobile application.
However, in 2017, just a year into its EPL agreement with Singtel, Eleven ended the partnership and its Eleven Plus Channel was taken off air, while its Eleven and Eleven Sports channel remained. That saw the channel releasing 10 staff, including the host of its EPL matches on Eleven Plus Channel, Richard Lenton.
Eleven then replaced its package for EPL with Chelsea TV, Manchester United TV, Italian Serie A, Emirates FA Cup, NBA basketball and European, South American Fifa World Cup qualifiers.
At the start of 2018, it also struck a deal with the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) to livestream and produce match day production for the new Singapore Premier League. It also did not bid for broadcast rights of the Fifa World Cup 2018, which was shown on Singtel TV’s other channels.
When contacted by The Drum on 3 July, Shalu Wasu, the managing director of Eleven Sports Network in Singapore did not confirm nor deny that the channel will end transmission on Singtel TV at the end of the month, if there will be further staff redundancies and if this will affect its deal with the FAS.
He would only say: “There is an exciting change in our direction in Singapore while we continue to expand elsewhere.”
Hours after The Drum first published the news, Eleven confirmed in a press release that it will discontinue its channels on Singtel and Mediacorp's Toggle in its current form on 20 July and will announce more information on its services in the near future. In the interim, it will continue to broadcast on its digital and social platforms.
A spokesperson for Singtel also did not address the end of transmission of Eleven’s channel, but told The Drum that the Pay TV broadcaster was ‘preparing a statement’, which it failed to send as of press time.
The news comes in the same week that Facebook secured a significant broadcast rights deal for the English Premier League in Southeast Asia.
This article has been updated to include Eleven's statement.