Television

ESPN Star Sports splits Asian telecast beam

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The sports television juggernaut rolls on. Come 15 August 2001, ESPN STAR Sports (ESS) broadcaster is going to launch two new services Star Sports Southeast Asia and Star Sports Asia. The channels - an outcome of a repackaging exercise of its Star Sports service will take the number of feeds it has in Asia to eight, reveals an ESS Press Release.





Southeast Asian sports fans earlier shared a Star Sports feed with their North Asian counterparts, which carried a combination of English and Mandarin commentary, graphics, presentation and programming. With the introduction of the new feed, the service has been split, to better cater to the specific sports and language preferences of the two regions. The presentation, graphics and packaging of the televised sports will reflect these changes.





Star Sports Southeast Asia will continue as an encrypted service broadcasting 24-hours-a-day and seven-days-a-week. It is targeted at the Southeast Asian viewer and incorporates his/her viewing habits and preferences which includes soccer, Formula One motor racing, tennis and golf programming. The service will be available Asia-wide in English.



Star Sports Asia will be a free-to-air service, but will have programming around basketball, billiards/pool/snooker, baseball and bowling, which are popular among North Asian sports fans. Star Sports Asia will be available in China and Chinese Taipei, broadcast in Mandarin.

"This is part of our on-going customisation strategy, designed to bring our brands closer to our viewers," says ESS managing director Rik Dovey. "Localisation sends the message that we are listening and catering to viewership needs. Content is tailored to the culture, language and viewing habits of the region. Audiences want relevant content and familiarity."



Dovey adds that the two new feeds will function as even more efficient media for advertisers wanting to target specific audiences. "We have already done this in India and Taiwan and the returns in respect of brand equity and consumer loyalty are very apparent. Viewers get to see more of what they want, platforms are better able to sell our channel and advertisers can target their audience more efficiently, eliminating wastage It is a win-win situation for viewers, platform operators and advertisers," he says.

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