ESS renews deal for English Premier League

MUMBAI: Sports broadcaster, ESPN Star Sports (ESS) has extended its multi-year agreement with the FA Premier League of England (FAPL). It will deliver the English Premier League (EPL) across Asia..

The broadcaster also announced that it will double its coverage of the League over the next three seasons starting from August 2004. Ten matches will be shown each competition week instead of the current five. Most of them will air live.

The remaining match will be on a quick turnaroundbasis. All matches will be supported with a line up of programming covering predictions, highlights, news and information, as well as pre and post game analysis. Under the new broadcast agreement ESS will deliver EPL programming to all but two of the markets within its 25-country footprint including India, China, Thailand, Taiwan.

As reported a few days earlier by the broadcaster had acquired an Asian football rights package through the Asian Football Confederation. The EPL is seen in over 150 million homes on ESS. Eight out of 10 people with cable in Asia tuning in weekly to watch the drama of the EPL. While Asias sizeable out of home audience remains unmeasured by in-home Peoplemeter measurements, research indicates that 64 per cent watch the EPL outside their homes every week. EPL matches on ESS continue to be the top programme on cable, rating 10 times better than the best programme on all other cable channels.

ESS MD Rik Dovey said, "In the three seasons were been broadcasting the League, its audience ratings for the top LIVE matches in Singapore and other territories have trebled on our network. We look forward to further growth over the next three years. I am sure that our clients and viewers will appreciate the expanded coverage and enjoyment of the game we will bring."

"The EPL goes along with our newly acquired exclusive FA package of football rights, UEFA Champions League, the Asian Football packages, in some territories the Euro 2004 and Spanish Primera Liga. Our content includes NBA basketball, international cricket, the Masters, British and US Open golf majors, Australian, Wimbledon and US Open tennis grand slam tournaments, Major League Baseball, snooker and daily sports news."

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