Television

ESPN Star wins Australian Open telecast rights

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MUMBAI: ESPN Star Sports has acquired multi-year cable and satellite rights for the Australian Open, the first grand slam of the tennis season.

ESS already has the rights to Wimbledon and the Tennis Masters Series.

ESS managing director Rik Dovey was quoted in an official release as saying, "We are proud to be associated with Australia's biggest sporting event, especially in its Centenary year.

"The conclusion of this agreement is of vital strategic importance as ESPN STAR Sports continues to deliver top-flight programming to viewers across Asia. Rights holders know we have the best distribution of any sports network in Asia and they appreciate the value we bring to their product not only through having the largest audience, but also the way we present their product, through scheduling, production and expert commentary. They want to see their property continue to grow in Asia and that's why they have committed to work with us on a long-term basis," Dovey added.

According to the release, overall interest in the game is showing signs of strong growth with an estimated 167 million viewers tuning into all ESS' tennis programming.

ESS live coverage of the Australian Open begins on 17 January, 2005.

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