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Discovery Appoints Atsushi Saito To Ad VP, Eurosport

London/Singapore/Tokyo – Discovery Communications has named Atsushi Saito as Vice President, Advertiser Partnerships for Eurosport in Asia Pacific, effective 14 March. The announcement was made by Jonathan Davies, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Advertiser Partnerships, to whom Saito will report.

In his new capacity, Saito is tasked to maximise Eurosport’s ad sales efforts in Asia Pacific by providing innovative and bespoke solutions for clients and developing meaningful partnerships. Europe’s number one sports destination, Eurosport broadcasts more Olympic Sports than any other broadcaster; Eurosport Player enables viewers to watch the greatest sporting moments in 50 countries and is the leading sports website in Europe.

Last week Discovery Communications announced its first Olympic Games sub-licensing deal with the BBC, to make Eurosport the exclusive home of the Olympic Games on pay-TV in the UK between 2018 and 2020. The news follows an agreement announced by Discovery Communications and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) last June, which includes exclusive multimedia rights for 50 countries and territories in Europe for the 2018 through the 2024 Olympic Games. With three of these Games to be hosted in Asia, Saito’s proximity to the action will offer a significant market advantage as Discovery look to establish long term partnerships with clients.

Saito started his media sales career over 16 years ago with STAR TV, a subsidiary of News Corp and was last with Turner Japan where he served as Director, CNN Global Advertising Sales. Under his leadership, Saito quadrupled CNN’s ad sales revenue and transformed it to be a leading international ad sales business in Japan.

Commenting on the appointment, Davies said, “It is Discovery’s ambition to make the Olympic Games available to more people across Europe than ever before, through leveraging our portfolio of pay-TV, free-to-air and digital services. This combined with our other strategic investments in sports rights provide brands and advertisers a unique opportunity to target their customers through great sporting moments all day, and every day.

“Advertisers and brands are evolving into content producers, thinking beyond the ad break to embed themselves in popular culture. With this shift, a top priority for our sales organisation is to provide unique, creative and strategic solutions with the highest level of service. Atsushi’s rich experience, excellent connections and digital acumen will propel Eurosport’s ad sales growth in Asia Pacific,” Davies added.

Since Discovery took majority ownership of Eurosport in May 2014, the sports destination has been transformed and revitalised. Eurosport was re-branded in November 2015 as the go-to destination for sports fans to “Fuel Your Passion”, ending a year in which premier sports content was acquired, including the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and Tour de France.

Eurosport’s strategy to invest in production and on-air talent and expertise to tell great stories around flagship events, like the US Open and Tour de France, resulted in a number of accolades for the company in 2015. Eurosport was awarded ‘Best Sports Broadcaster’ and its CEO Peter Hutton ‘Media Executive of the Year’ at the TV Sports Awards held on 11 October at SPORTEL, the leading convention for sports media industry leaders. At the same event, Eurosport and Discovery were awarded ‘Best TV Rights Deal’ for securing all TV and multiplatform broadcast rights to the Olympic Games in Europe from 2018-2024. It was also crowned ‘Channel of the Year’ at the Content Innovation Awards, held on 4 October on the eve of MIPCOM, the year’s global market for entertainment content.

Source: Discovery Communications