FOX International Channels Asia boosts sports business

Louise Duffy | 26-11-2013

FOX International Channels (FIC) Asia has given its sports channels FOX Sports and STAR Sports a boost with a focused strategy that it hopes will result in higher viewership and returns.

Initiatives include the acquisition of signature sports events, the creation of localised sports hubs and new programming.

FIC has secured the rights of the French Open, adding to its tennis Grand Slams that also include The Championship, Wimbledon and The Australian Open.

Other sports events include the Bundesliga, featuring top clubs like Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund; the Golf PGA Championship and World Golf Championship; the World Athletics Championship; Formula E (motor sports); and IBL (badminton).

FIC has created two new local sports hubs responsible for creating and distributing localised feeds. Since 1 October, Taiwan has been broadcasting three dedicated sports channels in Mandarin as well as producing a Taiwan version of FOX Sports’ flagship news show FOX Sports Central.

In addition, Hong Kong has been broadcasting sports channels in HD since 1 October.

FIC recently relaunched its signature news programme FOX Sports Central by almost doubling the content, making it seven days a week and a one-hour late night edition at 11pm in addition to the 7pm show.

With an aim to deliver sports content across platforms and devices, FOX Sports Plus HD can now be accessed through mobile and through the internet.

Joon Lee, executive VP of content and communications, Asia Pacific and Middle East at FOX International Channels, said: “With the successful acquisition of multiple new rights of top tier sports properties, creation of multiple local sports hubs, and enhanced programming well ahead of plan, our sports business is in a significantly better position than we were at even six months ago. We are very well placed to continue to offer fans and our business partners the most comprehensive sports entertainment offering across the region.”