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Countdown begins for Commonwealth Games; Nine Network announces telecast plan

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MUMBAI: The Australian television network Nine has announced an all-star team of over 40 presenters, commentators and reporters for its telecast of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games from 15 March.

Ray Martin, Liz Hayes and Nicole Livingstone will host Nine's exclusive coverage of the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.

Ken Sutcliffe will present the network's evening coverage of the Games, with Mark Nicholas covering the afternoon sessions. The morning programming will be anchored by James Brayshaw and Garry Lyon. Leila McKinnonm will provide sports updates throughout the telecast.

Nine's Commonwealth Games coverage will commence with the special Countdown To The Games, a one-hour special at 7:30 pm on 15 March, before the Opening Ceremony. Nine's commentary team features a host of Commonwealth and Olympic Games greats such as Ray Warren and Duncan Armstrong.

Nine Network head of Sport and Commonwealth Games Gary Fenton says, "This is an outstanding group of talented presenters, commentators and reporters set to bring Australian viewers all the action and excitement of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games."

Meanwhile, The All Asia Broadcast Centre of Astro Malaysia will provide 650 hours of live and delayed telecast of the Melbourne Commonwealth Games scheduled from 15 to 26 March. The coverage will kick off with the opening ceremony on 15 March at 5:30 pm.

Astro programming director Zainir Aminullah said Astro subscribers would have the chance to watch all the action in Melbourne via Astro Super Sports on Channel 80 at no additional cost.

In India, Prasar Bharati had bagged the 2006 Commonwealth games broadcasting rights. The event will be available live on DD National and DD Sports. AIR will broadcast running commentary of important matches and events.

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