Monday, January 29, 2007
For some reason (unbeknownst to anyone at Disney/ESPN, or anyone in America for that matter) ESPN has been removed from programming in the oh so wonderful country of China. So what does that mean for those in Singapore.....well no more Yao Ming for starters.
ESPN and Star Sports have gone off the air in China after the authorities refused to renew their permits last week.
They were the only channels among a group of foreign nets not to be reupped by China's State Administration for Radio, Film and Television. No reason was given for the refusal.
Channels are operated out of Singapore by ESPN Star Sports, a joint venture between News Corp. and Disney, and were already restricted to broadcasting to hotels with three-star or higher ratings and to compounds for foreign nationals.
The logical explanation according to Variety is the lack of Soccer Programming on the network. A group of local channels apparently show Engligh Premier League games. It's all very govermental and confusing, but bottom line to my friends in China.....No Berman for you!
China Yanks ESPN (Variety.com)