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ESPN Star inks Asia sports pacts

HONG KONG — ESPN Star Sports has struck four-year deals to provide live coverage of soccer and cricket across Asia.

The agreement with London-based CSI encompasses the cricket tours of Australia, South Africa and New Zealand and totals more than 3,000 hours of live coverage.

The soccer deal is with the Asian Football Confederation and covers more than 2,000 hours of programming through 2001.

ESPN Star Sports is a joint venture formed in November between the cable and satellite broadcasters ESPN Inc. and Star TV. ESPN reaches 20 million homes in Asia and Star reaches 61 million.

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