ESPN Star serves up new Oz Open deal


SYDNEY -- Pan-Asian sportscaster ESPN Star Sports has expanded its contract with Tennis Australia, encompassing a new seven-year deal for the Australian Open, the broadcaster said Tuesday.

The new contract covers cable and satellite, IPTV, DTH and terrestrial rights through 2014 for 23 countries across South Asia, South East Asia and North Asia, with the exception of China.

The deal included this year's Australian Open, which was broadcast to China in January, but China will come under a separate rights agreement beginning in 2009.

The contract also includes a "groundbreaking collaboration" for such new-media platforms as mobile telephony and Internet.

ESPN Star Sports said its coverage will include match coverage and comprehensive presentation packages, with daily highlights, news and analysis as well as behind-the-scenes looks at the tournament.