Singapore, 23 February 2001 ESPN STAR Sports (ESS), Asia’s leading sports broadcaster, has acquired the exclusive terrestrial and cable and satellite television broadcast rights of the English Premier League for the next three seasons beginning August 2001.

Announcing the acquisition of all television rights in Asia to the world’s most popular football league, ESS Managing Director Rik Dovey said that the network will also expand its current coverage with an extra match a week to a total of 165 games per season. In addition, it will introduce daily support programming on air too.

ESPN Star Sports has 250 million viewers in 25 countries including China, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brunei, Macau, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal, the Maldives and Mongolia.

‘We’re thrilled to have the F. A. Premier League headlining our programming line-up,’ Rik Dovey said. ‘This, along with the UEFA Champions League, Spanish Primera Liga, the Chinese National Football League, the Korean Football League, major Asian internationals and in some territories the Italian Serie A, completes what is the strongest football programming line-up of any sports broadcaster in the world.

‘All that football along with NBA basketball, the top international cricket, the golf majors, the Major League Baseball, National Football League, the Wimbledon & US Open Tennis as well as other racquet sports, snooker, bowling and regular daily sports newscasting confirms ESS’ leadership in sports broadcasting in Asia. ESPN Star Sports, with six specialised networks across Asia, is now clearly the complete sports provider to Asian sports viewers.

‘As well as showing five Premier League matches live each match week, we will show daily Premier League support programming to add to the enjoyment of all our viewers across Asia, and add value to our distributors. And viewers will also be taking part in new interactive activities too.

‘Such intense and expert programming is a first for the Premier League in Asia and will further broaden the support for the League among the world’s biggest populations. The ESS broadcast and marketing plans were endorsed by the League as the best way to further increase its popularity in Asia and help confirm the League’s status as the world’s most popular football competition.’

According to the league’s own figures*, worldwide audiences for the EPL — already the most popular football league in the world – continue to grow. As of September 2000, the EPL achieved a 12-per cent increase from the previous season bringing the total number of homes to over 440 million. Most households receive EPL matches LIVE, through a combination of terrestrial, cable, satellite, pay-per-view and digital television.

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 leading sports broadcaster, reaching over 55 million households for ESPN and over 56 million households for STAR Sports (November, 2000). Our networks bring the world’s premier live sports and leading regional events to viewers 24 hours a day. The ESPN STAR Sports Event Management Group, manages and promotes sporting events around Asia.

For further information, please check the website or contact:

Jessica Lee at (65)-4886132 or (65) 97698261 (Mobile) or

Stephanie Chen:
(65) 4886134 or (65) 96896213 (Mobile)

Edward Yip:
(852) 2621 9642 or (852) 9302 4164