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Discovery invests in OTT sports service

Discovery Communications is to acquire a minority stake in a premium OTT sports service, as its push into sports content continues.

Arthur_BastingsRugbyPass is a digital content platform that operates across 23 Asian territories that Coliseum Sports Media launched earlier this year.

Following Discovery’s investment, RugbyPass will offer its subscribers content from Discovery-owned Setanta Sports Asia.

“In partnership with CSM, our investment in RugbyPass will provide sports fans with greater access to the world’s best rugby competitions, making content that they love available on more screens, when and wherever they choose to watch it,” said Arthur Bastings, president and managing director of Discovery Networks Asia Pacific (pictured).

Rugby – traditionally popular in parts of Europe, Australasia and Africa – is growing in stature in Asia, with Alibaba recently closing a major content agreement with World Rugby.

Discovery has become a key player in global sports content after taking control of Eurosport, buying Setanta Sports Asia in June last year, and most significantly, acquiring rights to the Olympic Games in Europe.

The news comes after Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific’s executive VP and general manager – south Asia, Rahul Johr, resigned in February, with Bastings taking over his duties.