Rebate for sports fans right thing to do, says Astro

Astro is offering its full Sports Pack customers a rebate of RM20 per month over the next two months as sports events worldwide have been disrupted due to Covid-19.

And the company is confident of bouncing back with a series of exciting international sports meets lined up for next year.

The rebate is the latest in a series of actions, including free additional channels and content, after the Movement Control Order kicked in on March 18.

Astro’s Head of Sports Lee Choong Khay said the company is probably the first broadcaster in Southeast Asia to offer such a rebate.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted many events globally, including live sports. This is the right thing to do for our sports customers,” said Lee.

“Active Sports Pack customers as at May 31 will have the rebate reflected in their next two bills in June and July.

“Like all businesses, we have to re-calibrate but we believe we will bounce back with a big sporting year in 2021.”

The highlights next year include the rescheduled Euro 2020 and Tokyo Olympics. Set to be staged in 12 cities in Europe, the football tournament will now be held on June 11 to July 11, 2021. The Olympics, meanwhile, has been pushed to July 23-Aug 8, 2021.

Astro will also broadcast the English Premier League and even the coming season of the Scottish Premier League, among others.

The Scottish Premier League 2019-2020 season ended on Tuesday as Scottish Premier Football League chief executive officer Neil Doncaster was quoted as saying tthey will try and start the new 2020-2021 season on Aug 1.

“We are pleased to see live sports making a comeback. Astro went live with the Bundesliga, K-League and UFC last weekend and will broadcast more live sports events and leagues as and when they resume. We are proactively in conversation on the return of live sports with the rights holders,” he added.

Lee said the “M-League is always in the discussion” but that the stakeholders, namely the Malaysian Football League and FA of Malaysia, will need to re-look at their business plan.

“Their current model of monetisation will probably not work in our market. They need a new partnership model in which they share the gain as well as the risk. They need to have a stake in the game.”

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