Formula One to carry on without hiccups on Star Sports

Speculation that the broadcast of Formula 1 racing in Asia on Star Sports was in question can now be laid to rest with the sportscaster's assurance that coverage will continue till the end of the season.

The speculation had been fuelled due to reports of financial difficulties faced by the distributor of the programming in Asia.

ESPN STAR Sports Managing Director, Rik Dovey says there will be no break in telecast even in China and that the channel has secured rights to the event till 2005. One of the markets affected by the failed F1 broadcast deals is China, according to an ESPN Star Sports (ESS)commissioned survey, wherein F1 was ranked the fourth most popular television sport particularly with Beijing males. Overall, during the last season of the F1, viewership of the races on STAR Sports saw a 13 per cent rise in North and Southeast Asia over the previous season, says a company release.

F1 action will continue to be broadcast live each fortnight on STAR Sports Asia, STAR Sports India, STAR Sports Taiwan and STAR Sports Southeast Asia, the release says. Preview show RaceDay starts off STAR Sports' coverage with a look at the race ahead, predictions, scenarios and past performances and how those are likely to develop in the day's race. This is followed by live broadcast of the race before Chequered Flag gets airtime for a recap including highlights, analysis, rankings and results, the post-race press conference and the awarding ceremony.

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