Fox Sports (Asian TV network)

(Redirected from Fox Sports Asia)

Fox Sports Asia (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.

Fox Sports Asia
  • China
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
Broadcast area
NetworkFox Sports International
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
OwnerFox Networks Group Asia Pacific
(Disney International Operations)[1]
Sister channels
  • 21 August 1991; 32 years ago (1991-08-21) (Star Sports, Fox Sports 2)
  • 1 June 1992; 32 years ago (1992-06-01) (ESPN, Fox Sports)
  • 1 January 2021; 3 years ago (2021-01-01) (Taiwan)
  • 1 October 2021; 2 years ago (2021-10-01) (Southeast Asia & Hong Kong)[2]
Replaced byAstro SuperSport 5 (Malaysia)
Eurosport (Asia)
Premier Sports (Philippines)
SPOTV (Southeast Asia)
ESPN Asia (digital service via social networking sites and YouTube)
Former names
Fox Sports
Fox Sports 2
Fox Sports 3
  • ESPN HD (until 2013)
  • Fox Sports Plus HD (2013–2014)



Early years


Star Sports


Hutchvision entered an agreement with TCI's Prime Network International in March 1991 with the aim of creating a pan-Asian sports network reaching thirty countries and a potential audience of close to three billion.[3]

Star Sports was first launched on 21 August 1991 as Prime Sports (體育台) with the first programme being New York City US Open Tennis featuring tennis.[citation needed] 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 opened its production facility at New Tech Park in Lorong Chuan, Singapore in May 1995.[4]

Operations combined as ESPN Star Sports

Logo of ESPN & Star Sports (2009-2013)

ESPN and Star Sports were competing with each other across Asia,[5] but their businesses were making loss. In October 1996, both channels agreed to combine their operations in the region.[6] The resulting joint venture, later named ESPN Star Sports, was to be headquartered in Singapore (where ESPN's operations in Asia had been based).[7]

On 16 January 1998, a version of Fox Sports was launched in the Middle East, as carried by Star Select.[8] This apparently replaced ESPN STAR Sports in the region, but the pan-Asian version was available via the AsiaSat and Palapa satellites.

Relaunch as Fox Sports


On 6 June 2012, it was announced that News Corporation would buy ESPN International's share in ESPN Star Sports.[9][10] Later, Star India took over ESPN Star Sports' businesses in India,[11] and relaunched all of its sports channels under the Star Sports brand on 6 November 2013.[12][13]

In October 2012, Fox Football Channel was launched in Malaysia.[14] 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.[15][16] 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.[17][18]

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),[19] 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, 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.[20]

On March 8, 2021, Fox Sports partnered with Emtek's OTT media service Vidio to make the networks available for Indonesian viewers.[21]



On September 18, 2020, Disney announced that it would shut down Fox Sports operations in Taiwan at end of 2020.[22] It was later revealed that operations in Taiwan would end on January 1, 2021, following years on losing money in the region.[23]

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; although the launch in Vietnam was currently unknown).[2] 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,[24] taking over the Fox Sports network once their transmission goes offline, resuming the remaining MotoGP races.[25] They also carried Superbike World Championship as well.[26] Vietnam in the meantime has no TV broadcasters for MotoGP, until SPOTV officially launched in December 24, 2023.[27]

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.[28][29]

The remaining coverage of both Formula One and UFC was aired on Malaysia Astro for Astro SuperSport 5, which has been launched post-closure;[30] Philippines Premier Sports from the TAP Sports network, which also replaced Fox Sports post-closure;[31] Singapore StarHub TV and Singtel TV, for Hub Sports & Mio Sports respectively[32] and even Thailand TrueVisions' True Sport.[33] 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,[34] meanwhile the Emtek group aired the remaining Formula One races for their Champions TV network along with their OTT media service Vidio which previously carried the Fox Sports network to the service.[35][36]

As reported exclusively from SportBusiness, the Formula One coverage in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia (excluding Vietnam, in which K+ owned the rights following the closure of the channel) has been transferred over to beIN Sports starting from 2023,[37] which also carried both Australian Open and French Open tennis rights (except in Vietnam, which was owned by K+ and VTVcab respectively),[38][39] awhile SPOTV, which already available across Southeast Asia (excluding Vietnam until December 24, 2023[27]), will broadcast Wimbledon and the US Open. Awhile the extension for UFC coverage in Southeast Asia was yet to be finalized.

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.[40]

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.


  • Fox Sports (formerly ESPN)
  • Fox Sports 2 (formerly Prime Sports and Star Sports)
  • Fox Sports 3 (formerly ESPN HD and Fox Sports Plus HD)
  • Fox Sports News (formerly ESPNews): The channel was first launched as ESPNews in November 2009 in Singapore on Singtel's Mio TV,[41] and later expanded to other areas, including Hong Kong, where it was launched in August 2011 on PCCW's Now TV.[42] The channel was renamed as Fox Sports News on 28 January 2013. The channel was gradually discontinued in 2017: It ceased broadcasting on 1 April 2017 in most areas, but continued until 24 April in Hong Kong, 3 May in Malaysia, and 31 May in Taiwan.
  • Fox Football Channel: The channel was launched in October 2012 in Malaysia.[14] Its programming was mainly consisted of association football matches and shows. It ceased broadcasting in 2015.



The individual regional feeds of Fox Sports channels include:

  • Hong Kong: Additionally, a schedule variant is offered to Hong Kong Cable Television customers due to broadcasting rights issues. This variant which was transmitted by Fox Networks Group Hong Kong and produced from the studios in Hong Kong. The headquarters closed on October 1, 2021.
  • Indonesia: This variant which was transmitted by Fox Networks Group Indonesia and produced from the studios in Indonesia. The headquarters closed on November 12, 2021.
  • Malaysia and Brunei: This feed does not provide coverage of field hockey events. This variant which was transmitted by Fox Networks Group Malaysia and produced from the studios in Malaysia. The headquarters closed on November 12, 2021.
  • Philippines: This variant which was transmitted by Fox Networks Group Philippines and produced from the studios in Philippines. The headquarters closed on October 1, 2021.
  • Singapore: This variant which was transmitted by Fox Networks Group Singapore and produced from the studios in Singapore. The headquarters closed on November 12, 2021.
  • Vietnam: This variant which was transmitted by Fox Networks Group Vietnam and produced from the studios in Vietnam. The headquarters closed on October 1, 2021, in Hanoi and November 12, 2021, in Hồ Chí Minh City.
  • Taiwan: This variant which was transmitted by Fox Networks Group Taiwan and produced from the studios in Taipei. The headquarters closed on January 1, 2024.

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.

Final programming


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.

Australian Rules Football



  • World Boxing Matches





Field Hockey






Mixed Martial Arts















  • The G.O.A.T. (only for the Philippines)
  • Full Throttle (only for the Philippines)
  • 76 Rider (only for Indonesia)
  • Special Force 2 Pro League
  • Fox Sports Live (pre/post match/game/race shows)
  • 2 Wheels
  • Chequered Flag
  • The John Dykes Show
  • Sport Confidential
  • International Motorsports News
  • Gilette World of Sports
  • Football Asia



See also



  1. ^ Clarke, Stewart (13 December 2018). "Disney Sets Out International Leadership Team Post-Fox Deal". Variety.
  2. ^ a b Multiple sources:
  3. ^ "Hutch Vision to operate Asian sports channel". The Business Times. 6 March 1991. Retrieved 14 May 2024.
  4. ^ "Three US TV networks eyeing S'pore satellite-link licence". The Straits Times. 2 December 1994. Retrieved 10 February 2024.
  5. ^ Fabrikant, Geraldine (4 March 1996). "Broadcasters Bet on Sports As First Step in New Markets". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Rival sport channels ESPN, Star TV team up together". Ad Age. 9 October 1996. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  7. ^ Sullivan, Maureen (15 January 1997). "Asian TV team christens venture ESPN Star Sports". Variety. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  8. ^ "FOX Sports Changes Name" (Press release). STAR TV. Archived from the original on 8 May 1999. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  9. ^ Szalai, Georg (6 June 2012). "News Corp. to Buy Out ESPN's Stake in Asian TV Venture". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  10. ^ Steel, Emily (7 June 2012). "News Corp to take over ESPN Star Sports". Financial Times. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  11. ^ "ESPN STAR Sports to be under STAR in India". Business Standard. 28 January 2013. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Star Sports: A new logo, packaging & brand identity". Indian Television. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Star junks ESPN brand, launches Star Sports with 6 channels and website". MxM. 6 November 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  14. ^ a b Dhillon, Rajina (9 October 2012). "ESS launches FOX Football Channel". Marketing. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  15. ^ Terrado, Reuben (9 January 2013). "ESPN fades off in Asia as Fox takes over". Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  16. ^ Chan, U-Gene (24 January 2013). "ESPN network to be renamed FOX Sports in Singapore, Asia". The Straits Times. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  17. ^ Christensen, Nic (4 July 2014). "Fox to reorganises its sports channels". Mumbrella Asia. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  18. ^ Valisno, Jeffrey O. (26 August 2014). "Fox completes rebranding of sports channels". BusinessWorld. Archived from the original on 8 January 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  19. ^ Haskins, Will (17 June 2014). "ESPN Eyes Brand Revival in Asia". Media Business Asia. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  20. ^ "FOX Sports/ESPN Website Frequently Asked Questions". ESPN. 30 March 2020. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  21. ^ "Fox Sports Kini Hadir di Vidio, Ini Cara Aktifkannya". (in Indonesian). 6 March 2021. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  22. ^ "Fox Sports announces plans to end services in Taiwan". Central News Agency (Taiwan). 18 September 2020. Retrieved 25 December 2020.
  23. ^ "Fox Sports to shut down Taiwan channels by yea end". Central News Agency (Taiwan). 21 October 2020. Retrieved 25 December 2020.
  24. ^ "MotoGP™ welcomes Eclat Media Group as Asian media partner". (Press release). 16 September 2021. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  25. ^ McCullagh, Kevin (17 September 2021). "Eclat to replace Fox Sports Asia with 'lean and localised' SPOTV". SportBusiness. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  26. ^ "WorldSBK partners with Eclat Media Group across Asia". (Press release). 14 September 2021. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  27. ^ a b "Truyền hình MyTV cung cấp độc quyền chùm kênh thể thao SPOTV tại Việt Nam". MyTV (in Vietnamese). Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  28. ^ White, Jonathan (3 September 2021). "Now TV secures F1 and US Open rights in Hong Kong after Fox Sports Asia closes, but uncertainty remains for fans". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 20 September 2021.
  29. ^ White, Jonathan (7 October 2021). "Now TV confirms Formula 1 and UFC deals for Hong Kong fans". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  30. ^ "3 New Sports Channels on Astro from 1 Oct 2021. Your Favourite Sports and more on Astro SuperSport 5, SPOTV and Astro Arena 2". Astro (Press release). 15 September 2021. Retrieved 27 September 2021.
  31. ^ Terrado, Reuben (30 September 2021). "Where to watch UFC, F1 on PH TV with FOX Sports shutting down". Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  32. ^ Kwek, Kimberly (25 September 2021). "Sports fans in S'pore face anxious wait as cessation of Fox Sports channels looms". The Straits Times. Retrieved 27 September 2021.
  33. ^ "สุดเอ็กซ์คลูซีฟ!! ทรูวิชั่นส์ ยิงสดกีฬาแบบจัดเต็ม ตลอดเดือนตุลาคม". TrueID (in Thai). 29 September 2021. Retrieved 23 October 2021.
  34. ^ Pradana, Adhi (28 September 2021). "Mola TV Tayangkan Langsung UFC di Indonesia". idSatuNews (in Indonesian). Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  35. ^ "Grup Emtek (EMTK) Dapatkan Hak Siar F1, Kinerja Makin Ngebut | Market". (in Indonesian). 8 October 2021. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  36. ^ "Kabar Gembira, Emtek Group Resmi Siarkan Formula 1 di Indonesia". 7 October 2021. Retrieved 1 November 2021.
  37. ^ Frater, Patrick (3 October 2022). "Formula One Shifts Gears in Asia-Pacific – Global Bulletin". Variety. Retrieved 1 November 2022. Sports Business reports that pay-TV broadcaster beIN Sports is finalizing a multi-year deal beginning in 2023 reaching across most of its Asia-Pacific footprint, but excluding Australia, where Foxtel recently renewed its deal, and New Zealand.
  38. ^ "StarHub to show all four Grand Slams, badminton's India Open". The Straits Times. 12 January 2022. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  39. ^ Brzoznowski, Kristin (12 January 2022). "Now TV & beIN SPORTS Pact for Australian Open, Roland-Garros". Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  40. ^ "How to watch The John Dykes Show". 30 November 2021.
  41. ^ "ESPN STAR Sports & Singtel Unveil ESPNEWS on mio TV" (Press release). Singtel. 18 November 2009. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  42. ^ Schwankert, Steven (16 August 2011). "ESPN Launches Two New Channels on Hong Kong's now TV". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  43. ^ "FOX Sports Asia on Instagram: "The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 starts today! 🔥🏆💯 .. Follow Fox Sports Asia for the latest news and updates. ✅✅✅ .. .. .. #icc #cricket🏏…"". Instagram. Archived from the original on 26 December 2021. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  44. ^ "FOX+ the home of UFC® in Philippines". FOX+. Archived from the original on 4 May 2019. Retrieved 4 May 2019.