Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 30-08-2011

Asians living in North America will now be able to watch the Asian football qualifiers for London’s 2012 Olympic Games following the acquisition of broadcast distribution rights by One World Sports (OWS).

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) qualification matches – both men’s and women’s – will be covered on the same day as they are played, beginning on 1 September 2011. “The AFC Asian Qualifiers multi-platform rights are on strategy with the long-term commitment of One World Sports to deliver Asia’s best football events live to US sports fans on any device,” said Preston Bornman, chief operating officer, One World Sports.

“Exclusive coverage of the AFC Asian Qualifiers is a natural follow-up to the American response to the Women’s World Cup, and we expect the men’s and women’s Asian qualifying matches to generate great interest among US football and sports fans, particularly among the Asian population.”

The deal follows OWS’s distribution across North America of the Asian Cup 2011, which was held in Qatar at the start of the year. This year’s AFC Champions League, which is still in progress, is also being provided on the continent by OWS.

The Women’s final qualification round for the Olympics kicks off with World Cup champions Japan and Thailand on 1 September. Australia, Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and China also feature in the group – with subsequent matches to be played on 3, 5 and 8 September.

Meanwhile, the third round of Asian men’s qualifiers begins on 21 September – with 12 national teams lining up, including Japan, Australia, Korea, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The men’s action begins with two matches: Australia v the UAE followed by Japan v Malaysia.