Pan-Asian broadcast shake-up as Fox Sports announces closure

April 30 – The Walt Disney Company will shut down Fox Sports Asia this year, bringing to an end the existence of one of the continent’s longest-standing sports broadcasters. 

Fox Networks Group subsidiary operates 18 pay-television channels in the Asia-Pacific region. They include five sports channels.

“As part of The Walt Disney Company’s global effort to pivot towards a direct-to-consumer-first model and further grow our streaming services, the company is consolidating its Media Networks business primarily in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong,” said a Disney statement.

“Effective 1 October 2021, Disney will operate a streamlined television portfolio that covers Chinese language channels (Star Chinese Channel; Star Chinese Movies) and Factual Entertainment (National Geographic Channel; Nat Geo WILD). These efforts will help us align our resources more efficiently and effectively to current and future business needs.”

The fate of TV sports rights in the Asia-Pacific region remains up in the air if Disney won’t carry sports after October 1. However, it is believed that Fox is negotiating a one-year rights deal for 2021 with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in several Asian territories.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1634561986labto1634561986ofdlr1634561986owedi1634561986sni@o1634561986fni1634561986