World Cup on multiple platforms for Astro subscribers

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 12 May 2010

KUALA LUMPUR: Astro subscribers will, for the first time, be able to watch the world’s biggest sporting event - the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, via television, online and mobile without any extra charges.

Existing Astro sports package subscribers will be able to catch all 64 matches live, while Astro subscribers without sports packages will be able to catch 35 matches live.

Astro is collaborating with Maxis Bhd to bring mobile content of the 2010 FIFA World Cup exclusive to Maxis customers via the Astro B.player application on hand-held devices.

“Football is almost like a religion. We are offering customers the convenience to watch their games on multiple platforms and screens. Whether you are in Starbucks or in the train station, you will be able to catch your game. At the end of the day, it is all about the content. It is no use providing multiple platforms for a content if nobody wants to watch it,” said Astro chief operating officer Henry Tan at the media launch of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The Astro B.player application is the latest service innovation by Astro B.yond, which enables live streaming of all matches and downloading of caller ringtones, among other features. The B-player will be up and running in early June. For IPhone users, they can simply download the B-player application for free.

On television, Astro sports customers can watch the 2010 FIFA World Cup via 12 channels including 10 dedicated channels in bringing all 64 matches live, in both High Definition and Standard Definition for one month starting from June 11.

This will be Astro’s first HD broadcast of the World Cup. Astro has 3 million Malaysian household subscribers, with close to 12 million viewers.

“Our sports subscription make up some 55%, or 1.6mil of our total subscribers. Astro spends about RM1bil on programming cost, and a third of this goes to sports,” said Astro chief executive officer Datuk Rohana Rozhan. Astro is on track to meet its target of 0.5mil Byond subscribers by its financial year end, according to Rohana.

Astro will also be broadcasting the Thomas and Uber Cup through HD for the semi-finals and the finals of the Finals to Malaysia from May 13 to 16.

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