|Network||Fox Sports International|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
(downscaled to 16:9 480i/576i for the SDTV feed)
|Owner||Fox Networks Group Asia Pacific|
(Disney International Operations)
|Replaced by||Astro SuperSport 5 (Malaysia)|
Premier Sports (Philippines)
SPOTV (Southeast Asia)
Fox Sports (formerly ESPN Star Sports) was a pan-Asian pay television network broadcasting in Asia, operated by Fox Networks Group Asia Pacific, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company (Southeast Asia) Pte. Ltd. It also oversaw a version of Star Sports available in Mainland China and South Korea.
Originally launched in early 1990s as Star Sports (earlier Prime Sports) and ESPN by Satellite Television Asian Region (Star TV) and ESPN International respectively, both parties agreed to combine their operations in Asia in October 1996. News Corporation took the full control of the venture in 2012, and relaunched the channels in two phases in January 2013 and August 2014, respectively.
Star Sports was first launched on 21 August 1991 as Prime Sports (體育台). It was an 24-hour multi-sport television channel broadcasting in English and Chinese. STAR TV, based in Hong Kong, operated the channel in partnership with TCI in the United States, which owned Prime-branded regional sports channels there. The channel was broadcast across the continent of Asia, reaching from the Far East to the Middle East, as with AsiaSat 1's footprint. STAR TV have since regionalised the channel to serve its huge viewerships.
ESPN was originally a part of the so-called "Gang of Five", which was a consortium that was set up to compete against STAR TV in the region. (The others in the group were CNN International, HBO, TVB [with TVB Superchannel] and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation [with Australia Television International]) The consortium's channels were initially transmitted via Palapa satellite, but were later also added to Apstar satellite.
ESPN and Star Sports were competing with each other across Asia, but their businesses were making loss. In October 1996, both channels agreed to combine their operations in the region. The resulting joint venture, later named ESPN Star Sports, was to be headquartered in Singapore (where ESPN's operations in Asia had been based).
On 16 January 1998, a version of Fox Sports was launched in the Middle East, as carried by Star Select. This apparently replaced ESPN STAR Sports in the region, but the pan-Asian version was available via the AsiaSat and Palapa satellites.
On 6 June 2012, it was announced that News Corporation would buy ESPN International's share in ESPN Star Sports. Later, Star India took over ESPN Star Sports' businesses in India, and relaunched all of its sports channels under the Star Sports brand on 6 November 2013.
In October 2012, Fox Football Channel was launched in Malaysia. The channel ceased transmission in 2015.
On 28 January 2013, ESPN and ESPN HD was relaunched as Fox Sports and Fox Sports Plus HD in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southeast Asia. The regional version of ESPNews was relaunched as Fox Sports News, and SportsCenter Asia was relaunched as Fox Sports Central.
On 15 August 2014, Star Sports was rebranded as Fox Sports 2, and Fox Sports Plus HD was renamed Fox Sports 3 (or Fox Sports HD in Vietnam). The corresponding HD and SD versions of all three channels were also launched.
The relaunch of ESPN Star Sports as Fox Sports did not affect much of East Asia, as a version of Star Sports broadcast to Mainland China and South Korea kept the brand, and instead, the version of ESPN for Mainland China was renamed as Star Sports 2 on 10 January 2014.
ESPN International has since refocused on its digital business building out online properties for football (ESPNFC), cricket (CricInfo), Formula 1 (ESPNF1), and Australian rugby union (ESPNscrum), and established partnership with Multi Screen Media in India (Sony ESPN TV channel until 31 March 2020), TV5 Network in the Philippines (ESPN5 programming division until 13 October 2021), Tencent in Mainland China (a dedicated ESPN section at qq.com), and Mediacorp in Singapore (local ad sales only for the ESPN website through its Partner Network division).
On 31 March 2020, the website of Fox Sports Asia merged into and redirected to global version of ESPN website, remained unaffected for Fox Sports Asia socials.
On March 8, 2021, Fox Sports partnered with Emtek's OTT media service Vidio to make the networks available for Indonesian viewers.
On September 18, 2020, Disney announced that it would shut down Fox Sports operations in Taiwan at end of 2020. It was later revealed that operations in Taiwan would end on January 1, 2021, following years on losing money in the region.
On April 27, 2021, Disney announced that the Fox Sports network, along with the rest of Fox channels, would close down for good on October 1 after 30 years of broadcasting, folding the former Prime Sports/Star Sports Asia and ESPN Asia channel spaces, as they shift their focus to the latter streaming platform Disney+ (or Disney+ Hotstar for Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand along with yet-to-be launched Philippines and Vietnam). The last event covered by the channel was the Formula One 2021 Russian Grand Prix, 2021 Superbike World Championship at Circuito de Jerez and UFC 266: Volkanovski vs. Ortega.
Prior to the shutdown, Korean sports network SPOTV brought the licensee to cover up the remaining 2021 MotoGP World Championship, taking over the Fox Sports network once their transmission goes offline, resuming the remaining MotoGP races without the pre/post-races coverage from the Fox Sports presenters.
Hong Kong pay TV provider Now TV picked up the coverage of 2021 US Open along with the remaining races of the 2021 Formula One World Championship and future UFC fights, prior to the closure of the Fox Sports network.
The remaining coverage of both Formula One and UFC was aired on Malaysia Astro for Astro SuperSport 5, which has been launched post-closure; Philippines Premier Sports from the TAP Sports network, which also replaced Fox Sports post-closure; Singapore StarHub TV and Singtel TV, for Hub Sports & Mio Sports respectively and even Thailand TrueVisions' True Sport. Their contracts would expect to be expired by end of 2022, unless if they renewed.
Mola streamed the remaining UFC fights in Indonesia while also carrying the sub-license to both Singapore & Malaysia for future Live fights with the inclusion of Dana White's Contender Series that hadn't been aired when Fox Sports mainly aired the UFC main events, meanwhile the Emtek group aired the remaining Formula One races for their Champions TV network, via their pay television provider Nex Parabola, which previously founded Nexmedia as Terrestrial Pay TV provider for Jakarta territories, and its rival company Lippo Group's First Media along with Emtek's OTT media service Vidio which previously carried the Fox Sports network to the service. Formula One was also aired on FTA terrestrial TV via its regional broadcaster O Channel. Another regional broadcaster, Trans7, still got MotoGP races aired for terrestrial TV until 2026 after agreeing a four-year contract extension. In addition, they have also secured the FTA rights of the Superbike World Championship starting in 2022, which in fact SPOTV acquired the pay TV license for both MotoGP and World Superbike respectively.
Fox Sports' Australian Open and French Open tennis rights will be replaced by Fox Sports rival beIN Sports for Southeast Asia and Hong Kong, which can be screened via Now TV and Now E in Cantonese, with the exception of Vietnam for Australian Open and French Open, which will broadcast on K+ and VTVCAB. Meanwhile, SPOTV will broadcast Wimbledon and the US Open with additional broadcast available through SPOTV NOW.
A few days after its closure, Disney relaunched the ESPN brand in Asia but as a digital media portal through its official YouTube channel and social media pages.
The John Dykes Show was announced to be resumed on Disney+ Hotstar in Malaysia, Indonesia & Thailand, then yet-to-be announced for other Disney+ territories including Singapore and Hong Kong as Star Originals.
"Fox Football Channel" redirects here. For the Aussie rules channels in Australia, see Fox Footy and Fox Footy Channel. For the association football channels in the United States, see Fox Soccer and Fox Soccer Plus.
The individual regional variations of Fox Sports channels include:
It also overseed a version of Star Sports broadcast to Mainland China and South Korea, and Star Sports 2 (formerly known as ESPN until 31 December 2014) broadcast to Mainland China.
In South Korea, Fox Sports was partnered with JTBC until 11 March 2020, which operated JTBC3 Fox Sports (now known as JTBC Golf&Sports). As ESPN Star Sports, it has previously partnered with MBC (MBC ESPN (now known as MBC Sports+)) from 2001 until July 2010, and SBS (SBS ESPN (now known as SBS Sports)) from Late 2010 until 2014.
Broadcast rights for various sports properties contain territorial limitations and in a lot of instances, the rights indicated below may not pertain to all Asian territories in which Fox Sports operated.
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