Cable TV scores 2010 World Cup

Hong Kong paybox secures soccer tourney

HONG KONG — Paybox I-Cable’s Cable TV has secured local rights to the 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament in South Africa, the third consecutive time it will air the competition.

In addition to the 64 matches taking place between June 11 and July 11, coverage will include hundreds of qualifying and international friendly matches, said Stephen Ng, Hong Kong Cable chairman and chief exec.

Cable TV also secured rights to all home matches of five-time champion Brazil during the FIFA qualifiers, which will be broadcast in September this year.

Cable TV has long been the dominant choice, but PCCW’s NOW Broadband TV, launched in September 2003, is catching up at a rapid clip partly because it has lured movie channels and some sporting events away from Cable TV.

However, PCCW has outbid Cable TV for next season’s English Premier League soccer and the UEFA Euro 2008 soccer tournament. PCCW also has non-exclusive rights for Italy’s soccer league this year.

Cable TV has an estimated 820,000 customers, while Now Broadband hit 800,000 at the end of April.

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