13 March 2008

Adds ‘Cricket Extra’, featuring simulcast cricket matches, to StarHub Digital Cable’s Cricket Group

Singapore , 13 March 2008 – Singapore’s largest pay-TV operator, StarHub, announced today that it will offer STAR Cricket, a 24-hour channel dedicated to showcase worldclass cricket action from around the globe. STAR Cricket replaces StarHub’s existing Cricket Channel. In addition, StarHub will also add Cricket Extra, a channel for simulcast cricket matches, to StarHub Digital Cable’s Cricket Group. Both STAR Cricket and Cricket Extra will be made available from 17 March 2008.

STAR Cricket (Channel 110) is fully packaged by ESPN STAR Sports . The channel was first launched in India in June last year, and achieved record ratings during the broadcast of the ICC World Twenty20. The channel airs ‘live’ and delayed international and regional cricket events, cricket news, archive programming, and magazine and reality shows. Fans can look forward to the upcoming Pura Cup Final (the domestic first-class cricket tournament in Australia) that will be aired ‘live’ on the channel till 19 March, in addition to exciting magazine programmes such as “Inside Cricket”, “Timed Out”, “Star Mail”, and many other special programming from ESPN STAR Sport’s cricket archive, such as “Super Centuries” and “Boxing Day Knock Outs”.

Cricket Extra (Channel 111) will cater to the occasional simulcast of ‘live’ cricket events, so viewers can choose which ‘live’ event to watch. The channel will also serve as a platform to air selected cricket tournaments that are not made available on STAR Cricket or Neo Sports.

Mr Patrick Lim, StarHub's Vice President of Cable TV Services, said, “We are committed to meet the diverse needs of our customers, and even though cricket is considered to be a niche sport, we have consistently looked at ways to enhance the range of worldclass cricket content available on our platform. We added Neo Sports to the Cricket Group last year, and are confident that fans will be pleased with the latest cricket offerings on STAR Cricket and Cricket Extra. We share a strong relationship with ESPN STAR Sports, and we are pleased to partner them to offer STAR Cricket to the fans here.”

Said Mr Adam Zecha, ESPN STAR Sports’ Senior Vice President, Affiliate and Multimedia Sales, “We have been bringing the best of international cricket to fans in Singapore through StarHub for many years, and we are glad to further extend our partnership with StarHub through this initiative. STAR Cricket is the definitive cricket channel and has a proven track record in the Indian subcontinent, a region with very discerning cricket fans. W e firmly believe that the channel will win the hearts of viewers in Singapore with its extensive and compelling 24-hour cricket content.”

ESPN STAR Sports holds the global broadcast and production rights for all the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) events till 2015, and the exclusive rights for events by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Cricket Australia (CA) and Asian Cricket Council (ACC).  ESPN STAR Sports’ stellar commentary team, popularly known as ‘The Few Good Men’, comprising of legendary players like Sunil Gavaskar, Ian Chappel, Ravi Shastri & Wasim Akram and popular hosts like Alan Wilkins & Harsha Bhogle, lead the presentation of cricket on STAR Cricket.

From 17 March, StarHub’s Cricket Group will comprise three channels – STAR Cricket, Neo Sports (Channel 109) that features home matches by the Indian and Bangladesh cricket teams, and Cricket Extra. The Cricket Group is priced at $30 ($32.10 with 7% GST) monthly, and is made available to StarHub Digital Cable customers using the digital set-top box, HubStation or HD set-top box.

Viewers can refer to the On-screen TV Guide or StarHub’s Online Programme Guide from 17 March onwards, for the schedules of STAR Cricket and Cricket Extra. Existing StarHub Digital Cable customers can call 1633 to subscribe to the Cricket Group, while new customers who wish to subscribe to StarHub Digital Cable can call 1630.