KUALA LUMPUR: Astro All Asia Networks plc has to pay a higher price than anticipated for a new three-year agreement with FA Premier League for the exclusive rights to broadcast Barclays Premier League (BPL) matches in Malaysia, said its Chief Operating Officer Henry Tan.
"Unfortunately, the competitive environment drove the rights prices up. Nevertheless Astro remains committed to provide its customers with more premium content at good value," he said in a statement here Wednesday.
Tan said as part of this arrangement, for the first time, all 380 matches of BPL would be available to be shown live on ESPN, STAR Sports and Astro channels.
Commenting on the development, Kenaga Research said Astro would now pay 60 per cent, above the RM500 million the company spent previously, to secure the BPL rights.
It said based on 'guesstimates' the new rights would cost an additional RM100 million per annum to Astro's cost, which would account for about 27 per cent of the company's total content costs.
" We believe it is critical for Astro to continue with the BPL broadcast to maintain its superior sports content, which has been the main driver for subscriber growth and retention," said Kenaga Reseach.
It added that about 70 per cent of Astro's subscribers took up the sports package. - BERNAMA
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