ESS claims excellent response for 'SportsCenter'

SINGAPORE: It may have burnt its fingers with its pre and post-match shows around the cricket World Cup but when it comes to sports news updates ESPN Star Sports (ESS) is right on the money.



The broadcaster has said that its Asia versions of SportsCenter are growing swiftly in peoplemetered markets across the region.The data shows that among professionals, managers, executives and businessmen (PMEBs), SportsCenter consistently rates upto four times better than any news programming on cable - including their in-programme sports segments (TN Sofres, Jan - Dec 2002).

42 per cent of all Indian cable viewers chose it over other sports shows. The figure touched 50 per cent among PMEBs. (TAM Media Xpress India, Jan - Dec 2002) In Singapore, peoplemeter data showed that 51 per cent of all cable individuals watched SportsCenter Asia. The number jumped to 54 per cent among professionals, managers, executives and businessmen aged 25 to 44, ahead of the competing sports news programs on other cable news channels.

The data also shows that Sportscenter rated much better than the top cable programming on other channels including action, news, documentaries, movies and music programming (TN Sofres Infosys, Jan - Dec 2002). In Hong Kong, 57 per cent of all cable viewers watched SportsCenter, with the figure rising to 66 per cent among PMEBs. (NMR Telescope, Jan - Dec 2002).

As part of its localisation strategy where content is tailored to the culture, language and viewing habits of the region ESS began offering sports news content relevant and familiar to its viewers. In April 2001, SportsCenter Hindi for India was created, followed by SportsCenter Taiwan and SportsCenter Asia (for South East Asia and Hong Kong). Collectively, all three Asian versions of SportsCenter go out to 127 million homes across the network's footprint.

MD ESS Rik Dovey said, "It does not surprise us that SportsCenter is rating this well, and particularly among PMEBs who are the target of many advertisers. Our main bulletins face tough opposition as they are scheduled at prime time, but they answer a major audience need for high quality sports news.

SportsCenter is one of our biggest programming initiatives and reflects the company's investment in high-quality long-term sports programming. We have footage from more events than any of our competition, we have first class presenters and producers delivering sports news at a level previously unavailable to audiences in Asia, tailored for our major territories and audiences."

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