ESS renews rights for Augusta Masters Golf

MUMBAI: One of Golf's most prestigious tournaments The Augusta Masters will continue to enjoy a high profile in Asia. ESPN Star Sports (ESS) has renewed the rights for ?The Masters Championship,? which is played every year in Augusta, Georgia, USA.


ESS states that this latest acquisition reinforces its position as Asia's number one sports broadcaster. ESS' other golf properties include The Open Championships and the US Open.

ESS MD RC Venkateish said, "We are delighted to have renewed our agreement to deliver the year's first and most prestigious golf major to viewers in Asia. ESPN Star Sports showcases the biggest Golf events in the world like the PGA Championships, the US Open and has always brought the best from the world of sports across disciplines, to its audience in every nook and corner of the country."



The battle for the coveted 'green jacket', to be held in the first half of April this year, is one followed by millions in the region and once again fans can expect to see world-class coverage of the Masters. The agreement will allow ESPN Star Sports to take full advantage of packaging and producing programming in its own style and will include daily highlights, analysis as well as profiles of top competitors and Asian golfers.?

Under the terms of the new agreement, fans will enjoy daily live coverage of the tournament supported by a package of additional programming including previews and highlights. In addition, ESS will have access to archived Masters official film footage featuring highlights from past tournaments.

The agreement represents the continuation of a successful partnership between ESS and Augusta National - the distributor of the Masters that has seen trends in golf viewing increase in most of the network's people-metered markets.

The Masters Championship at Augusta continues to increase in popularity. During last year's coverage of the Masters, ESS and its satellite partners in Asia saw viewership grow by six per cent from the previous year. Overall interest in the sport is also showing signs of strong growth with an estimated 46 million viewers tuning into ESS golf programming including the Masters.

This reflects an upward trend in golf's appeal in Asia attributed in part to the growing number of Asian players performing strongly on the international golf circuit. Among the Asian players making their mark in the big leagues are Arjun Atwal (India), Jyoti Randhawa (India), Shigeiki Maruyama (Japan), Tongchai Jaidee (Thailand) and Kiyoshi Miyazato (Japan).

ESS' coverage of the 2005 Masters and the battle for the coveted green jacket will begin on 8 April, 2005.

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