Angered by STAR's thoughtless programming

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 April, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 April, 1996, 12:00am

What was announced by STAR Sports as cricket's greatest year is turning out to be the worst to date.

The scheduling policy at STAR Sports leaves a lot to be desired. I cite some recent examples. In the 1996 Wills World Cup, live coverage of the game between India and Sri Lanka was delayed due to a recorded sporting event.

In the Singer Cup in Singapore, a rescheduled game between Pakistan and Sri Lanka was not shown. Instead, a recorded programme was repeated. Just two days later, a cricket game between the West Indies and New Zealand which was originally shown live was repeated in its entirety.

Finally, now there is no live coverage of any of the games in the Pepsi Cup featuring teams from India, Pakistan and South Africa.

It is understandable for STAR to maintain a fair balance of different sports, especially on its Northern Beam which covers Hong Kong. While I truly appreciate the quantity of cricket coverage on STAR, the scheduling policy puzzles me.

In the interests of maintaining a fair balance, if live coverage of a cricket game is pre-empted due to live coverage of another sporting event, it is understandable. However, showing repeats of recorded programmes instead is thoughtless programming. The recorded programmes can be shown later during the evening. If STAR Sports really aspires to be Asia's premier sporting channel, it should try to seek corporate sponsors and advertisements by promoting different sports. Will the people at STAR Sports get their act together? The fact that STAR lost millions of dollars during the recent World Cup (which was a major commercial success for other providers) is proof enough that it needs to adapt to the situation.

First the BBC, then MTV, and now this. It seems inevitable now that STAR Sports will become second to ESPN in its coverage of Asian sports.