Astro offers bundled broadband with sports content, as 4K-UHD nears launch

Malaysian pay-television broadcaster Astro and telco Maxis Communications have signed an agreement to offer bundled broadband with content.

Astro said it will be launching new bundles of high-speed broadband and content products for its customers, in order to meet demand for converged connectivity and multiplay propositions that bring together connectivity, content and service.

Astro chief executive officer Henry Tan said: “The partnership will provide our customers better connected experience, especially for on-demand viewing, allowing them to enjoy over 50,000 hours via set-top boxes and on mobile devices.”

To help market these new content and broadband packages, Astro is offering customers three months of free access to its sports package. The package includes the Astro SuperSport channels, three Fox Sports channels, Eurosport, Arena HD, beIN Sports and beIN Sports Max.

Malaysian tycoon Ananda Krishnan controls both companies through privately-owned Usaha Tegas Sdn Bhd, holding a 40-per-cent stake in Astro, and a 62.4-per-cent shareholding in Maxis.

The partnership also ties in with Astro’s recent focus on its new 4K ultra-high definition (4K-UHD) set-top box, the Astro Ultra. It has been expanding its beta testing program to more customers, giving access to 4K-UHD content which includes selected sports content.

The Astro Ultra has been a year in the works, and the Malaysian broadcaster believes it will be a game-changer in securing its leading position in the sports content marketplace.

Last year, Astro secured broadcast rights to the Premier League from 2019-20 to 2021-22. The deal allows Astro, which has broadcast English top-flight matches since 1997, to exclusively show all 380 matches every season in Malaysia.

Astro chief of sports Lee Choong Khay said: “We hope to excite sports customers by broadcasting selected live matches of the new season in 4K-UHD. We look forward to rolling out our 4K-UHD offerings to provide the most premium and immersive sports viewing experience.”