PCCW vows channels won't go blank in HK
Talks between ESPN Star Sports and PCCW on broadcasting rights remain deadlocked, but PCCW has promised sports fans that whatever happens 'your screens won't go blank'.
An exclusive six-year deal between the companies to broadcast some of the world's biggest sporting events ended this month, and if a deal is not struck coverage will end.
Two weeks ago the two sides suspended cancellation of programmes to undertake 11th-hour discussions on a new agreement.
Hong Kong fans have already been hit hard, especially as, in November last year, PCCW's Now TV lost the rights to screen live English Premier League matches to Cable TV, leaving many subscribers who had signed long contracts in the lurch.
PCCW said that if a deal in the current negotiations could not be reached, viewers would be given plenty of notice. Fans watching tonight's Formula One Grand Prix from Monza will not have to worry about the live broadcast suddenly cutting out midway through the race.
A PCCW spokesman said: 'It won't be the case that if an agreement isn't made that the programmes will just suddenly stop. Your screens won't go blank. At the moment everything will be shown as scheduled, and if there is going to be any change to this we will definitely let our customers know well in advance.
ESPN Star Sports also remained tight-lipped, saying only that both sides were continuing talks.
ESPN Star Sports coverage ranges from Formula One, cricket internationals and the major golf tournaments to the American professional basketball and baseball leagues.
If the negotiations with PCCW collapse, ESPN Star Sports would have to strike a deal with Cable TV or Hong Kong Broadband Network.