From August 15, viewers across Asia will see a new trio of channels and logos, as well as a new on- and off-air look and feel. The rebrand includes the launch of three new channel brands: Fox Sports, Fox Sports 2 and Fox Sports 3, each catering to a certain type of sports fan, the company said.
This change will take effect in all countries across Asia where Fox Sports network channels are available, with the exception of China and South Korea, where the Star Sports brand will be offered. Fox Sports News and Fox Football Channel HD will remain unchanged, while Fox Sports Play and Fox Sports Mobile will continue to be the network’s non-linear play.
“Since we’ve taken over ESPN STAR Sports in 2012 and relaunched it as FOX Sports, our vision has always been to shake things up and change the sports broadcasting paradigm is this region," said Joon Lee, the company's EVP of content and communications for APAC and Middle East, in astatement.
Lee said that sports viewing is relatively low across Asia. "Our aim is to service die-hard fans but also open up sports viewing to new audiences in a big way" by making it a family affair that speaks to women as much as it does traditionally to men.
At the time of the change last year, Peter Hutton, the network's former senior VP of Sports said it was a big, brash brand, and the shows would feature a lot more attitude and entertainment. Fans saw a change in voice, style and content. There was more coverage of local sports and stars as well. In the Philippines for example, its promotional spot for the ABL coverage is fronted by local team, the San Miguel Beermen. In May 2013, Hutton left the company to join MP&Silva Group.
As part of the latest change, the network is investing in producing pre-and-post shows on-the-ground with the aim of "presenting fans across Asia with a more customized viewing experience", the company said. This includes a 1500-square-foot studio in Singapore.The network has also introduced multi-language commentary including Cantonese, Mandarin, Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Malaysia and Thai.
The company offered a breakdown of the programming on the three new channels:
- Fox Sports: The 'flagship' will carry top tier sports, the most popular sports locally, and pivotal games, matches and races such as the Barclays Premier League (BPL), La Liga, UFC, Tennis Grand Slam semis & finals and F1 main races.
- Fox Sports 2: The channel for athletics and ball & racquet sports such as Tennis Grand Slams, Golf Majors, European and Asian football leagues, Major League Baseball (MLB), Indian Badminton League (IBL) and International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) events.
- Fox Sports 3: Adrenaline-fuelled motorsports, combat and extreme sports such as F1, MotoGP, One FC and Extreme Games Asia.