Wednesday, November 15, 2006

PCCW wins Premier League TV rights for HK

PCCW Ltd, Hong Kong's largest phone company, said its NOW Broadband TV unit bought broadcast rights for English Premier League football for an undisclosed amount, outbidding rival i-Cable Communications Ltd. NOW gained exclusive three-year rights for all broadcasting platforms in Hong Kong for all 380 games per season starting next year, PCCW Finance Director Alex Arena said. He described the cost as "affordable," declining to comment on a report that NOW will pay $200 million.

"You don't have to be a well-paid financial analyst to see that with the addition of this content we will be able to overtake our competitors as the number one pay-TV provider" next year, Arena said at a press briefing in Hong Kong reported by Kelvin Wong of Bloomberg. Arena said the rights payment won't immediately trigger a price increase for customers and won't affect NOW's expectation to become profitable this financial year in terms of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization. NOW probably won't provide game highlights to other broadcasters, as i-Cable has done, Arena said.

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