11 October 2005, Kuala Lumpur: Asia’s number one sports broadcaster, ESPN STAR Sports and Malaysia’s Ministry of Youth and Sports today announced plans for a multi-year strategic partnership alliance to raise participation and interest in sport in the country.

Under the proposal, ESPN STAR Sports will align with the Ministry’s National Fitness Council to enhance the sporting culture in Malaysia through a series of activities and programs, which will be rolled out over the period of the proposed strategic alliance, starting from 2006.

Minister of Youth and Sport, Datuk Azalina Dato Othman Said said, “The Ministry of Youth and Sports is looking into this exciting strategic partnership in detail and want it to be a positive step towards bringing high-quality, high-level sports news and events to all Malaysians. ESPN STAR Sports is one of the most recognizable brands in both sports reporting as well as sports event staging and bringing them to Malaysia will have a positive impact on sports as well as business and tourism.”

This landmark co-operative effort, the first of its kind in Malaysia between an international media company and the Ministry of Youth and Sport, will launch with two initial elements. The first will showcase a range of on-air initiatives featuring sports popular with Malaysians as well as local athlete profiles. The second element will be focused on the staging of key sporting events around the country evolving around the 8 core sports, eco-nature-type sports and martial arts.

Jamie Davis, ESPN STAR Sports’ Managing Director said, “We share the Ministry of Youth and Sport’s vision and ambition to build a strong, long-term and active sporting culture in Malaysia. This alliance has the trademarks of an intelligent and exciting partnership and I am confident our efforts will touch all citizens of Malaysia and achieve what’s it’s been set up to do.”

“We’re naturally delighted to be offered this important opportunity to showcase our network’s unrivalled sports programming and demonstrate our expertise in staging world-class events in Asia. In view that 2005 is the ‘International Year of Sports and Physical Education’ as declared by the United Nations adds further significance to this landmark association”, he added.

Collaborative efforts between ESPN STAR Sports and the Ministry of Youth and Sports have also been done in the past. ESPN STAR Sports and the Ministry of Youth and Sport’s partnership history includes the successful staging of the Asian X Games in Kuala Lumpur in 2003 and 2004 as well as the KL World 5’s futsal tournament which was also held in Kuala Lumpur in 2003.

There are no announcements yet for an official signing ceremony but the Ministry of Youth and Sports expects to roll out its first series of activities in 2006.

ESPN STAR Sports is a 50:50 joint venture between two of the world’s leading cable and satellite broadcasters, ESPN Inc. and STAR. We are Asia’s complete sports provider reaching over 138 million households for ESPN and over 62 million households for STAR Sports. We have 13 networks – ESPN Asia, ESPN India, ESPN Taiwan, ESPN Philippines, MBC-ESPN (Korea), ESPN Singapore, ESPN Hong Kong, STAR Sports Asia, STAR Sports India, STAR Sports Taiwan, STAR Sports Singapore, STAR Sports S.E.A and STAR Sports Hong Kong. We bring the world’s premier live sports and leading regional events to viewers 24 hours a day. On the ground, the ESPN STAR Sports Event Management Group manages and promotes premier sporting events around Asia, including the Asian X Games and the San Miguel Asian 9Ball Tour. On-line, espnstar.com, espnstar.com.cn and espnstar.com.tw interact with millions of users providing them with in-depth sports news, results and competitions. This multilingual, online platform which is closely integrated with ESPN and STAR Sports on air networks, has established the sites as the number one on-line sports destination in their respective markets.

For further information, please contact:
Stephenie Vasko, ESPN STAR Sports tel: (65) 6488 6126 or email: vaskos@espnstar.com