Olympics At Your Fingertips

Tune in to the Astro SuperSport Mosaic Channel for the latest updates.
Tune in to the Astro SuperSport Mosaic Channel for the latest updates.

Astro’s 11 dedicated interactive channels offer extensive live coverage of the Beijing Olympics. It’s a dream come true for sports enthusiasts, writes HIZREEN KAMAL.

(From left) Presenters Chay Ming Winstanley, Selina Abdul Aziz, Melvin Rudy Aeria, Raymond Goh, Zainal Abas and Ben Ibrahim.
(From left) Presenters Chay Ming Winstanley, Selina Abdul Aziz, Melvin Rudy Aeria, Raymond Goh, Zainal Abas and Ben Ibrahim.

THE Olympic Games fever is back! Five days into the competition, Malaysians are able to keep abreast with the latest via Astro’s “live” coverage of the Beijing 2008 Olympic on its 11 interactive channels on Astro SuperSport (Channels 816 to 826).

The additional channels are free for existing subscribers of Astro SuperSport.

“Subscribers will get to watch over 3,000 hours of comprehensive live coverage of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. This way, Malaysians can root for their home team too.

“Sports fans will be able to enjoy action-packed and real-time updates of the games,” said Astro’s head of sports (content and programming strategy) Lee Choong Kay.

Previously, for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, Astro only carried 2,000 hours of live coverage via six channels.

For the first time, Astro has sent its own correspondent, Cleo Tay, to cover the Olympics for its daily reports.

“This is our commitment to local sports and the localisation strategy,” he said.

This is made possible through Astro’s strong partnership with TVB (Hong Kong) for the benefit of Astro’s Chinese-speaking viewers.

Subscribers of the Dynasty package can follow the Olympics in Cantonese on the TVB Olympic channel (Astro channel 318).

Tay will localise the coverage of the Olympics with an emphasis on the performance of the Malaysian team.

The Astro SuperSport Mosaic Channel (Astro channel 826) will provide customers of Astro’s Sports package with news updates, latest Olympic sports statistics (such as new records broken, updates and other interactive applications) and access to other Olympic sports.

“Customers can get the latest updates anytime. We have a dedicated team to ensure data is updated.”

This one-stop channel enables viewers to enjoy all the games being aired simultaneously via a mosaic format on mini screens within the channel.

To select your favourite sports on this channel, select the identified mini screen and press “OK” on the remote control to watch the full-screen channel.

Astro will also have six seasoned and new presenters/hosts who will take turns to provide interesting highlights on channels 816 to 823.

They are Zainal Abas, Raymond Goh, Chay Ming Winstanley, Ben Ibrahim, Melvin Rudy Aeria and Selina Abdul Aziz.

Channel 824 will have the rolling highlights, while channel 825 is the replication of Channel 318 of the TVB Channel.

Meanwhile, Lee said Astro, will continue its commitment to the development of Malaysian sports.

“We have big plans to promote local sports which should be given more prominence,” he said.

Plans are under way to have an all-new sports channel, slated for launch by year-end.

Among others, this channel will feature live sports coverage, talk shows, workshops, training, documentaries, archive materials, athlete profile as well as those participating in sporting events abroad.

To be aired daily around-the-clock, this channel comes under the Pay-TV’s Sports package at no extra fees.

It will bring the number of channels under the Sports Package to seven.

They include Astro SuperSport, ESPN, Star Sports, Golf Channel, Eurosports and ABO Sports (pay per view).

Lee said: “More than 70 per cent of our customers subscribe to the Sports package. Our aim is to promote Malaysian sports to our viewers.

“This channel will be a good avenue to promote our homegrown talents.”

Lee is in the midst of finalising the content with the Olympic Council of Malaysia, the umbrella body for the various sports associations in the country.

“Some associations have expressed their interest. Each association has its own sports calendar and we will look at how we can cover as much of their events as possible.”

 

New Straits Times

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