SINGAPORE: With the cricket world cup a thing of the past ESPN Star Sports (ESS) is concentrating on giving fans of European football, tennis, golf a chance to see more events live.
An official release informs that three key properties are on the encrypted Star Sports South East Asia feed. The latest sports properties that Star Sports will air live are the UEFA Champions League which was previously not aired on the channel. Meanwhile the Tennis Masters Series and PGA Golf move from same-day delay telecast to live telecast.
Earlier this year, the network began airing two live UEFA Champions League matches per week. Previous to that, live matches were only on ESPN. Now, two different UEFA matches are telecast live simultaneously on ESPN and STAR Sports, giving football fans that much more to choose from.
The new season of the Tennis Masters Series is now broadcast live on Star Sports. The reason for this move is that there has been a recent surge of interest in the sport in Asia with local players doing well against the best. Korea's Lee Hyung Taik recently won his first tournament of the year. Thailand's Paradorn Srichiphan who last year upset Andre Aggasi at Wimbledon is making serious movement on the ATP rankings.
Golf may still be an elitist sport but the PGA tour has a huge audience following in the continent. Last year the PGA Tour Golf on Star Sports was watched by a projected 46.7 million cable viewers in non-metered markets and 13.3 million in the people-meter markets of Singapore, Hong Kong, India and Taiwan. (Source: TAM Media Xpress India, Nielsen Taiwan Telescope, TN Sofres Infosys Singapore and Nielsen Hong Kong Telescope. five-minute reach for India, one-minute reach for all other markets, January-November 2002)
Other sports programmes that viewers already get to watch live on the channel include English Premier League, Spanish Primera Liga, Formula One motor racing, US Open Tennis, Wimbledon, NBA, Rugby World Cup, Tri-Nations Rugby, Six Nations Rugby and Sanzar Home Tests.
The release also states that Star Sports is received in 56 million households across Asia.