Eurosport opens broadcast facility in Hong Kong

By Phil Sandberg, Editor/Publisher

SVG Australian correspondent

Eurosport, the European pan-regional sports channel, has launched a state-of-the-art broadcasting facility at the Cyberport technology precinct in Hong Kong. The facility, which will serve as the regional hub for its Asia-Pacific channel, is the network’s second master control room for the region in order to create optimum broadcasting flexibility between European and Pan-Asian time zones. The fully digital broadcast infrastructure will link the control room with Eurosport’s headquarters in Paris and was built by Hong Kong-based company Ideal Systems.

Mr. Arjan Hoekstra, Managing Director, Eurosport Asia-Pacific, said, “Our goal is to make our unique combination of live, professional sporting events available to every family in the Asia-Pacific region. We have chosen Hong Kong as our Asia-Pacific headquarters due to its central location and we look forward to bringing as many different sports to as many different people as possible.”

The channel is transmitted via the Asiasat 3S satellite, which guarantees maximum reception across the entire region.

Eurosport was created in 1989 and is 100 percent owned by TF1, the leading French generalist television channel. Boasting an international network of more than 1200 specialist sports journalists, it offers viewers varied sports such as UEFA Champions League football, the Paris Dakar Rally, the Olympics, cycling, tennis, wintersports and youth sports like skating and surfing. In addition, Eurosport produces industry awarded magazine shows such as Eurogoals, Olympic Magazine and Tuningmania.

The Eurosport Group today comprises Eurosport, Eurosport 2, and Eurosportnews. Eurosport is available in 20 different languages and reaches 110 million homes and 240 million viewers across 59 countries. Eurosport 2, the new sports channel launched in 2005, is transmitted to 22.3 million households in nine languages across 40 different countries. Available in 7 languages, is now established as one of the leading pan European sports websites with up to 30 million visits per month. Eurosportnews provides up-to-date worldwide sports news and is transmitted worldwide.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Eurosport broadcasts more than 300 days of live programming per year from sporting events around the world. The Eurosport Group entered Asia in 2002 with a grant of landing rights in China for Eurosportnews, the Group’s twenty-four hour sports news channel. Eurosportnews is available across Asia, while subscription channel Eurosport is available in Australia, Hong Kong, Philippines, Indonesia, and Myanmar.

Professional athletes and commentators will provide local-language commentary for key live events in the Hong Kong feed, which will be extended to other markets as they come on line.

Following the launch of the new Hong Kong facility, Eurosport has also announced a contract with Hong Kong’s IPTV-based NOW TV to offer two of its 24-hour subscription sports channels (Eurosport and Eurosportnews channels) to more than 700,000 potential households in Hong Kong.

“We are committed to providing choice and variety to families and sports fans in Hong Kong,” said Arjan Hoekstra. “For the first time, viewers in Hong Kong will be able to watch almost every Olympic sport, all year round with a majority on a ‘live’ basis.”

The Eurosportnews channel will also be available as part of the NOW TV offer.

Originally published in Content and Technology magazine.

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