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Fox Sports (Southeast Asian TV network)

Fox Sports (formerly ESPN Star Sports) is a Southeast Asian pay television network broadcasting on Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, currently operated by Fox Networks Group Asia Pacific, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. It also oversees Fox Sports operations in Taiwan, and a version of Star Sports available in Mainland China and South Korea. As ESPN Star Sports, it was also operated in South Asia, but Star India took over the Indian business in 2013.

Originally launched in early 1990s as Star Sports (earlier Prime Sports) and ESPN by Star TV and ESPN International respectively, both parties have agreed to combine their operations in Asia in October 1996. News Corporation took the full control of the venture in 2012, and relaunched the channels in two phases in January 2013 and August 2014, respectively.

History

Early years

Star Sports

Star Sports was originally launched as Prime Sports on 21 August 1991. Star TV, based in Hong Kong, operated the channel in partnership with TCI in the United States, which owned Prime-branded regional sports channels there. The channel was broadcast across the continent of Asia, reaching from the Far East to the Middle East, as with AsiaSat 1's footprint. Star TV have since regionalised the channel.

ESPN

ESPN was originally a part of the so-called "Gang of Five", which was a consortium that was set up to compete against Star TV in the region. (The others in the group were CNN International, HBO, TVB [with TVB Superchannel] and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation [with Australia Television International]) The consortium's channels were initially transmitted via Palapa satellite, but were later also added to Apstar satellite.

Operations combined as ESPN Star Sports

Logo of ESPN Star Sports

ESPN and Star Sports were competing each other across Asia,[2] but their businesses were making loss. In October 1996, both channels have agreed to combine their operations in the region.[3] The resulting joint venture, later named ESPN Star Sports, was to be headquartered in Singapore (where ESPN's operations in Asia was based in).[4]

On 16 January 1998, a version of Fox Sports was launched in the Middle East, as carried by Star Select.[5] This apparently replaced Star Sports in the region.

Relaunch as Fox Sports

On 6 June 2012, it was announced that News Corporation would buy ESPN International's share in ESPN Star Sports.[6][7] Later, Star India took over ESPN Star Sports' businesses in India,[8] and relaunched all of its sports channels under the Star Sports brand on 6 November 2013.[9][10]

In October 2012, Fox Football Channel was launched in Malaysia.[11] The channel ceased transmission in 2015.

On 28 January 2013, ESPN and ESPN HD was relaunched as Fox Sports and Fox Sports Plus HD in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southeast Asia.[12][13] The regional version of ESPNews was relaunched as Fox Sports News, and SportsCenter Asia was relaunched as Fox Sports Central.

On 15 August 2014, Star Sports was rebranded as Fox Sports 2, and Fox Sports Plus HD was renamed Fox Sports 3 (or Fox Sports HD in Vietnam). The corresponding HD and SD versions of all three channels were also launched.[14][15]

The relaunch of ESPN Star Sports as Fox Sports did not affect much of East Asia, as a version of Star Sports broadcast to Mainland China and South Korea kept the brand, and instead, the version of ESPN for Mainland China was renamed as Star Sports 2 on 1 January 2014.

ESPN International has since refocused on its digital business building out online properties for football (ESPNFC), cricket (CricInfo), Formula 1 (ESPNF1), and Australian rugby union (ESPNscrum),[16] and established partnership with Multi Screen Media in India (Sony ESPN TV channel), TV5 Network in the Philippines (ESPN5 programming division), Tencent in Mainland China (a dedicated ESPN section at qq.com), and Mediacorp in Singapore (local ad sales only for the ESPN website through its Partner Network division).

Channels

  • Fox Sports (formerly ESPN)
  • Fox Sports 2 (formerly Prime Sports and Star Sports)
  • Fox Sports 3 (formerly ESPN HD and Fox Sports Plus HD)

Former channels

  • Fox Sports News (formerly ESPNews): The channel was first launched as ESPNews in November 2009 in Singapore on Singtel's Mio TV,[17] and later expanded to other areas, including Hong Kong, where it was launched in August 2011 on PCCW's Now TV.[18] The channel was renamed as Fox Sports News on 28 January 2013. The channel was gradually discontinued in 2017: It ceased broadcasting on 1 April 2017 in most areas, but continued until 24 April in Hong Kong, 3 May in Malaysia, and 31 May in Taiwan.
  • Logo of Fox Football Channel
    Fox Football Channel: The channel was launched in October 2012 in Malaysia.[11] Its programming was mainly consisted of association football matches and shows. It ceased broadcasting in 2015.

Regions

The individual regional variations of Fox Sports channels include:

  • Hong Kong: Additionally, a schedule variant is offered to Hong Kong Cable Television customers due to broadcasting rights issues.
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia and Brunei: This variant does not provide coverage of field hockey events.
  • Philippines: Primetime telecast of WWE Raw aires there on FOX Sports every Tuesday evening, several hours after the live stream on FOX+ app. Starting 2019 selected UFC events on FOX Sports are aired, but can still watched online in the country via FOX+ app and web.[19]
  • Singapore
  • Vietnam

In addition to regions above, Fox Sports' regional headquarters in Singapore also oversees Fox Sports channels in Taiwan, which is transmitted by Fox Networks Group Taiwan and produced from the studios in Taipei. It also oversees a version of Star Sports broadcast to Mainland China and South Korea, and Star Sports 2 (formerly known as ESPN until 31 December 2014) broadcast to Mainland China.

In South Korea, Fox Sports is partnered with JTBC, which operates JTBC3 Fox Sports. As ESPN Star Sports, it has previously partnered with MBC (MBC ESPN) from 2001 until July 2010, and SBS (SBS ESPN) from December 2010 until 2013.

Programming

Broadcast rights for various sports properties contain territorial limitations and in a lot of instances, the rights indicated below may not pertain to all Asian territories in which Fox Sports operates.

American Football

Baseball

Basketball

Boxing

  • Versus
  • World Boxing Matches

Bull Riding

Cricket

Football

Golf

Kickboxing

Mixed Martial Arts

Motorsports

Rugby Football

Tennis

News

  • Fox Sports Minute (only for the Philippines)

Other

  • The G.O.A.T. (only for the Philippines)
  • Full Throttle (only for the Philippines)
  • Special Force 2 Pro League
  • FOX Sports FC
  • 2 Wheels
  • Chequered Flag
  • The John Dykes Show
  • Sport Confidential
  • International Motorsports News
  • Gilette World of Sports
  • Football Asia
  • WWE Raw (only for the Philippines)

Personalities

See also

References

  1. ^ https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/disney-sets-out-international-leadership-team-post-fox-deal-1203088968/
  2. ^ Fabrikant, Geraldine (4 March 1996). "Broadcasters Bet on Sports As First Step in New Markets". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Rival sport channels ESPN, Star TV team up together". Advertising Age. 9 October 1996. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  4. ^ Sullivan, Maureen (15 January 1997). "Asian TV team christens venture ESPN Star Sports". Variety. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  5. ^ "FOX Sports Changes Name" (Press release). Star TV. Archived from the original on 8 May 1999. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  6. ^ Szalai, Georg (6 June 2012). "News Corp. to Buy Out ESPN's Stake in Asian TV Venture". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  7. ^ Steel, Emily (7 June 2012). "News Corp to take over ESPN Star Sports". Financial Times. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  8. ^ "ESPN STAR Sports to be under STAR in India". Business Standard. 28 January 2013. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Star Sports: A new logo, packaging & brand identity". Indian Television. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Star junks ESPN brand, launches Star Sports with 6 channels and website". MxM. 6 November 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  11. ^ a b Dhillon, Rajina (9 October 2012). "ESS launches FOX Football Channel". Marketing. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  12. ^ Terrado, Reuben (9 January 2013). "ESPN fades off in Asia as Fox takes over". Spin.ph. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  13. ^ Chan, U-Gene (24 January 2013). "ESPN network to be renamed FOX Sports in Singapore, Asia". The Straits Times. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  14. ^ Christensen, Nic (4 July 2014). "Fox to reorganises its sports channels". Mumbrella Asia. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  15. ^ Valisno, Jeffrey O. (26 August 2014). "Fox completes rebranding of sports channels". BusinessWorld. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  16. ^ Haskins, Will (17 June 2014). "ESPN Eyes Brand Revival in Asia". Media Business Asia. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  17. ^ "ESPN STAR Sports & Singtel Unveil ESPNEWS on mio TV" (Press release). Singtel. 18 November 2009. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  18. ^ Schwankert, Steven (16 August 2011). "ESPN Launches Two New Channels on Hong Kong's now TV". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  19. ^ a b "FOX+ the home of UFC® in Philippines". FOX+. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  20. ^ "FOX Sports Asia on Instagram: "The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 starts today! 🔥🏆💯 .. Follow Fox Sports Asia for the latest news and updates. ✅✅✅ .. .. .. #icc #cricket🏏…"". Instagram. Retrieved 15 June 2019.

External links

Sports
28 September 2019