Burmese TV station SkyNet has bought full rights to screen English Premier League (EPL) football matches for three seasons, 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16.
The move comes as the EU and Britain ease economic sanctions on the former military-ruled country.
It marks the first time Burmese football fans will have the opportunity to watch an entire menu of EPL matches—all 380 games per season in fact—after SkyNet bought unhindered stand-alone rights to the most popular soccer league in the world.
EPL Chief Executive Richard Scudamore said: “We are extremely pleased that SkyNet has chosen to invest in the Premier League and welcome them as a new broadcast partner.
“We look forward to developing a strong working relationship with them as they showcase the Barclays Premier League [BPL] to our fans in Myanmar.”
In a statement, SkyNet’s managing director Daw Myint Myint Win said, "Football is the key driver for SkyNet and the acquisition of the BPL rights is the culmination of SkyNet’s comprehensive football offering.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity of working with the BPL to develop its popularity in Myanmar,” she said. “This was the first time the BPL rights were offered to the territory of Myanmar on a stand-alone basis and, despite intense competition from international companies, SkyNet is delighted to be able to offer the world’s most-followed football league to its viewers."
The cost to SkyNet for exclusive broadcasting rights in Burma to the EPL [BPL] was not revealed. However, the BBC suggested that the overall value of Premier League TV rights could top £5bn ($US 8bn) for the three seasons starting in 2013-14.
Meanwhile, Burma managed a 1-1 draw with Vietnam in its opening match of the Suzuki ASEAN Football Championship in Thailand on Saturday.
Tan Tai Le got the scoring underway for Vietnam with a diving header in the 35th minute before Kyi Lin scored a penalty in the 53rd minute.
The result means both sides share second spot behind early leaders Thailand in Group A after the Thais recorded a 2-1 win over the Philippines in their first game of the tournament.
In the next matches in Group A, Burma play hosts Thailand on Tuesday while Vietnam meets the Philippines.