ESPN STAR Sports Serves Up an Ace With 7-Year Renewal of the Australian Open Broadcast Rights
It is game, set and match for Asia’s number one sports broadcaster as ESPN STAR Sports announced its new seven-year contract for the Australian Open till 2014 covering cable & satellite, IPTV, DTH and Terrestrial rights. ESPN STAR Sports and Tennis Australia have also agreed to a ground-breaking collaboration for new media platforms such as mobile telephony and internet.
The new contract gives ESPN STAR Sports rights for the entire territory including China for 2008, while beginning 2009 the rights will cover 23 countries across South Asia, South East Asia and North Asia with the exception of China. ESPN STAR Sports has been bringing all the excitement of the Australian Open to tennis fans across Asia since 2002 and with this agreement will ensure that millions of fans across Asia continue to enjoy the action in the distinctive ESPN STAR Sports style directly from the hard courts of Melbourne Park. ESPN STAR Sports will continue to support the Australian Open match coverage with comprehensive presentation packages including daily highlights, news and analysis as well as behind-the-scene looks at the tournament.
Manu Sawhney, Managing Director, ESPN STAR Sports, said: “The Australian Open has always occupied a special place in Asian sports fans’ hearts with its legacy as one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world of tennis. We have built a very successful partnership with Tennis Australia over the last six years and we are extremely pleased to now extend our relationship for another seven years.
“With the strong equity that our brands enjoy across Asia and the strength of our new media platforms including mobile and online, we are committed to further strengthen the appeal and distribution of Australian Open across Asia and to continue its growth as the Grand Slam of Asia/Pacific.”
A delighted Tennis Australia CEO Steve Wood said the new deal marked a new chapter in a very strong relationship with ESPN STAR Sports.
"ESPN STAR Sports has been a highly valued partner to Tennis Australia and the Australian Open," Wood said. "As the leader in Asian sports television, ESPN STAR Sports is the perfect fit for the Grand Slam of Asia Pacific.
"We appreciate, in particular, how well ESS has continued to promote the event and contributed to raising the popularity of the Australian Open across Asia. We look forward to continuing that growth with ESS support."
Last month ESS concluded the successful broadcast of ‘The Australian Open 2008’, with its coverage on various networks across Asia featuring the legendary tennis player Vijay Amritraj as expert commentator and the popular anchor Alan Wilkins presenting the highly-watched programming line-up..
This latest multi-year acquisition adds to a stellar list of the world’s top tennis events already airing on the ESPN STAR Sports network, including the Wimbledon throughout Asia, the French Open in South Asia, the ATP Masters Series, which comprises ten of the best tennis tournaments outside of the Grand Slams and the Hyundai Hopman Cup, the only ITF official international mixed teams competition.
ESPN STAR Sports' comprehensive tennis coverage goes beyond its stable of tennis tournament coverage and includes its original in-house production, ‘Ace’ which features the latest results and updates in the world of tennis, as well as exclusive interviews with top tennis players. It will also begin to air shows such as ‘Destination Tennis’, the show that features best places for tennis vacations on and off the court; ‘No Strings’, a unique behind-the-scenes, up close and personal look at some of the world’s biggest tennis stars; and ‘Tactical Tennis’, an instructional series for tennis fans to take their game to the next level.
About ESPN STAR Sports
ESPN STAR Sports is a 50:50 joint venture between two of the world’s leading cable and satellite broadcasters. As Asia's definitive and complete sports broadcaster and content provider, ESPN STAR Sports combines the strengths and resources of its ultimate parent companies – Walt Disney (ESPN, Inc.) and News Corporation Limited (STAR) – to deliver a diverse array of international and regional sports to viewers via its encrypted pay and free-to-air services.
ESPN STAR Sports showcases an unparalleled variety of premier live sports from around the globe 24 hours a day to a cumulative reach of more than 310 million viewers in Asia. ESPN STAR Sports has 17 networks covering 24 countries, each localised to deliver differentiated world-class premier sports programming to Asian viewers. This includes ESPN Asia, ESPN China, ESPN Hong Kong, ESPN India, ESPN Malaysia, ESPN Philippines, ESPN Singapore, ESPN Taiwan, MBC-ESPN (Korea), STAR Sports Asia, STAR Sports Hong Kong, STAR Sports India, STAR Sports Malaysia, STAR Sports Singapore, STAR Sports Southeast Asia, STAR Sports Taiwan, and STAR Cricket.
On the ground, the ESPN STAR Sports Event Management Group manages and promotes premier sporting events around Asia. ESPN STAR Sports aims to reach consumers at any time, any place and through all new media platforms, both internet and mobile. The multi-lingual, online platforms, espnstar.com, espnstar.com.cn and espnstar.com.tw and footballcrazy.tv interact with millions of users providing them with in-depth sports news, results and competitions. Developed for the sports fan that is constantly on the move, mobileESPN and STAR Sports Mobile delivers differentiated mobile content targeted at its various audiences. mobileESPN enables the serious sports fan to follow their favourite sports more closely than ever before with a combination of specially produced video news clips, in-depth news coverage and analysis. STAR Sports Mobile aims to provide interactive and entertaining opportunities to engage with sports, delivering exclusive video excerpts from leading football clubs Arsenal and Liverpool as well as highlights from STAR Sports original programmes covering opinions, instructional tips and the latest online game reviews.
For more information, please contact:
Paras Sharma (ESPN STAR Sports)
DID: +65 6216 6031