News Corp., Disney launch sports channel ESPN Star

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HONG KONG -- Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. and Walt Disney Co.-owned ESPN have christened their Asia sports programming joint venture ESPN STAR Sports, a senior ESPN executive announced.

"The name reflects the focus and direction of the joint venture company as well as the strength of its brands, ESPN and STAR Sports," Alexander Brown, newly named managing director, said in a statement from Hong Kong, headquarters to both broadcasters.

To be based in Singapore, with offices in New Delhi and Hong Kong, ESPN STAR Sports is a rare collaboration between two rival media giants that face stiff competition in TV-saturated Asia. Formed in November 1996 and owned equally by News Corp.'s Star TV Network and ESPN, the alliance will produce programs. Both distributed by satellite, Star Sports is free-to-air and ESPN a pay channel.

Copyright January 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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