Astro, the pay-television operator in Malaysia, will broadcast the country’s top club soccer competitions after striking a three-year domestic rights deal with the Malaysian Football League (MFL) governing body.

The deal will see Astro air live matches from the top-tier Liga Super Malaysia, the Piala FA and Piala Malaysia cup competitions, and the season-opening Perlawanan Sumbangsih Super Cup match across its Astro TV linear platform and Astro Go streaming platform.

As part of the deal, which runs from 2023 to 2025, Astro will produce exclusive programs with match analysis, pre-match press conferences, live training sessions, player interviews, behind-the-scenes shows, and highlights.

It will also run events and activities for fans, including opportunities to visit stadiums and meet players.

Along with Astro, Malaysia public broadcaster RTM has also acquired a package of rights, which includes 75 matches across various competitions in 2023.

Both Astro and RTM will begin their coverage with the Perlawanan Sumbangsih Super Cup on February 24.

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Euan Smith, chief executive of MFL, said: “We have always recognized the importance of sports in nation-building, and both Astro and MFL are committed to raising the bar for coverage of local soccer leagues from live games, behind-the-scenes training to updates on players and coaches and the latest football news benefitting sports fans across Malaysia.

“Stay tuned for updates on our coverage which will cover live, on-demand, and new magazine content.”

The deal marks a return of Astro as the football league’s domestic broadcaster for the first time since 2015 when Astro sold its media and marketing rights to the MP & Silva agency in a six-year deal covering the 2016 to 2021 seasons.

However, that deal ended after only one season when MP & Silva failed to fully monetize the rights.

Since 2017, the rights have instead been held by several platforms including free-to-air broadcaster Media Prima, streaming platform iFlix, and telecommunications firm Telekom Malaysia.

MFL chief executive Stuart Ramalingam said: “Astro’s involvement this time will certainly increase the attraction and awareness of the development of Liga Malaysia and thus increase the commercial value of each match to strengthen the county’s football ecosystem.”

Among the other soccer properties to which Astro holds rights are England’s Women’s Super League, the German Bundesliga, the Dutch Eredivisie, and the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, among others.

Elsewhere, it has rights to the Formula 1 motor racing series, MotoGP motorcycling, Badminton World Federation tournaments, the UFC mixed martial arts promotion, and tennis’ ATP Tour and grand slam tournaments.