Astro changing the way it shows football to capture a wider audience

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Astro is still going strong after nearly 25 years in the business and it has its sports channels to thank.

While many Malaysians are turning to Netflix, android boxes and other streaming services, sports in general and football, in particular, is Astro’s strength.

“Sports is important for everyone. If Netflix had more money, it would probably buy the sports packages, especially football,” said Astro Head of Sports Lee Choong Khay or CK to his friends.

“However, it is hard to monetise and it costs a lot just to get the rights to the English Premier League.

“That is also another reason why Netflix is not in the picture – it doesn’t own the content and there is a renewal process which goes up each time.”

Having said that, Lee is aware that the younger generation of viewers do not have the patience of watching a full 90-minute match.

“That is why we have several highlight packages on our various social media platforms, including on YouTube,” said Lee.

“We are also trying new ways to engage with the fans. One of which is they get the chance to chat with a player or former player.

“Previously, we used to fly the guests in or get our fans to visit their dream venue to meet the stars but in the Covid-19 era, everything is done electronically.

“The one advantage is that we can get more players in as it doesn’t take up so much of their time.”

He explained these chats hardly touch on tactics but more about the fans’ experience.

Separately, he said Astro’s eSports channel (eGG Network) gained new fans during the Movement Control Order (MCO) as older audience tuned in to watch the ePremier League matches.

“Since there were no games being played, these fans found their ‘fix’ watching eSports.

“I have to admit, I was also captivated by some of the games, especially when they involved a celebrity or professional footballers.”

Here’s the round-up of The News Normal today.

SENIOR JOURNO CALLS FOR CORPORATIONS TO PAY FOR NEWS

National Press Club president Datuk Ahirudin Attan says corporations should pay for content created by newspapers, news portals, and other media organisations.

“It’s only fair for professionals like me. If they don’t wish to pay for the news, stop taking the news content from those news organisations and pretend like you’re doing us a favour,” Ahirudin wrote on his blog Rocky’s Bru.

He added entities like Facebook should produce their own news.

Facebook has vowed to block news stories in Australia rather than pay for them following a proposed law by the Aussie government that would require companies such as Facebook and Google to pay for news organisations’ content.

MARKETING MATTERS IN FOOTBALL

The bigger the brand, the bigger the risk of failure, writes Twentywo13 contributor Muhammad Yunus Zakariah.

He says marketing can reduce those risks and it matters as much as the team – perhaps even more.

FEARLESS: RISE OF JOHOR SOUTHERN TIGERS SET FOR NOVEMBER RELEASE

A fly-on-the-wall five-part series – Fearless: Rise of the Johor Southern Tigers – is a behind-the-scenes docuseries that focuses on Southeast Asian football powerhouse, Johor Darul Ta’zim FC (JDT).

The series lifts the lid on the establishment of JDT’s world-class infrastructure – from its top training facilities and stunning new Sultan Ibrahim Stadium, to its progressive youth academy programme.

Fearless is to be released in November on over-the-top platforms while there are also plans to show the series in cinemas.

Global IP investment, production and licensing firm 108 Media, has acquired international sales rights and set its sights on a worldwide deal.

SHOPEE’S LOCAL RETAILERS RECORD RM200 MILLION SALES IN A MONTH

The ringgit-to-ringgit voucher funding by Shopee and the government via Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) for the Short-Term Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) Shop Malaysia Online initiative has generated over RM200 million in sales by local retailers and traders on the e-commerce platform as at Aug 31.

In a campaign mid-point review and the launch of its annual signature shopping event 9.9 Super Shopping Day, Shopee revealed the vouchers were enjoyed by close to two million Malaysians who took advantage of the savings and cash-back on products involving home and living, health and beauty, toys, groceries, automotive, mobile and gadgets.

MINISTRY ACTS AGAINST EMPLOYERS FOR WAGE SUBSIDY ABUSE

Deputy Human Resources Minister Awang Hashim says his ministry, via the Social Security Organisation, has acted against business owners who defied the terms and conditions under the government’s subsidy initiatives – the Employees Retention Programme (ERP) and the Wage Subsidy Programme (PSU).

He said the ministry received 243 complaints from employees, of which 215 cases concerned the PSU and 28 were on the ERP.

SMALL INCREASE IN FOOD POISONING CASES

Health Minister Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba revealed there was a 3.2 per cent increase in the number of food poisoning cases last year.

He said there were 516 cases in 2019, as opposed to 500 two years ago. Of the total, 150 cases took place at schools under the Education Ministry (MoE), 66 at schools not under MoE, 132 at institutions, and 18 at other premises.