Asian TV team christens venture ESPN Star Sports

HONG KONG – ESPN and Star Sports, which announced in October they were teaming up to form a 50-50 joint venture in Asia, have unveiled their new corporate name. Drumroll, please.

After much discussion and a staff competition, the winner is: ESPN Star Sports.

“The name reflects the focus and direction of the joint venture company as well as the strength of its brands, ESPN and Star Sports,” said Alexander (Sandy) Brown, managing director of the new Singapore-based business. Brown was previously managing director of ESPN Asia. ESPN is a subsidiary of ABC, which is owned by the Walt Disney Co. Star TV is a subsidiary of News Corp.

The two channels will keep their distinct personalities for the time being, although the goal is to offer local sports on one channel and international events on the other, according to ESPN’s Melissa Ray. There is also a plan to convert Star to an encrypted channel in some markets in the year ahead.

As managing director, Brown will be responsible for the day-to-day management and direction of the company. He will report to the board of directors, consisting of representatives from ESPN and Star TV.

R.K. Singh has been named managing director-India. He will be responsible for distribution, marketing and strategic issues in India from the regional office in New Delhi.

Other appointments include: Barry Rona, VP and general counsel; Gloria Dunn, chief financial officer; John Davies, VP and G.M.-production and operations/ESPN; Rik Dovey, VP and G.M.-production/Star Sports; Chris McDonald, VP and G.M.-marketing; and Kelly Butler, senior VP-programming. McDonald will also be managing director of News Sport (Asia), the company’s event management unit.

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