Astro has begun to wind down its dedicated esports channel, eGG Network which was previously being transmitted through the pay-TV platform’s channel 800. However, this does not mean the end of esports content on Astro though.
To the public eyes, Astro’s decision to discontinue the dedicated channel for eGG Network seemed to take place in a rather sudden manner. The company only announced the move through the channel’s social media on 20 January which was just three days before it takes place.
From now on, all esports content and eGG Network’s in-house shows will be made available through the company’s Bahasa Malaysia-based sports channels, Astro Arena (channel 801) and Astro Arena 2 (channel 802). The move may seem odd but based on our conversation with Astro’s representative, it is generally in line with the company’s aim to hyperlocalise the direction of its esports content.
Arena is not exactly new to the esports world though as the channel has previously broadcast quite a number of major esports events including last year’s E1 Championship, MLBB World Championship, and PUBGM Global Championship. Local esports athletes have also been featured in Arena’s shows before and it is also still business as usual for eGG Network’s social media pages which we take as a sign that Astro is still retaining the brand for the time being.
Meanwhile, the company’s representative has revealed to us that Astro will set up temporary ad-hoc channels if there are schedule conflicts between major esports and live sporting events on Arena. This is to address the concerns of local esports enthusiasts that they may not be able to catch esports matches now that the eGG Network has become part of Arena.
Stands for Every Good Game, eGG Network made its debut back in June 2016. At launch, Lee Choong Khay, then the VP and Head of Sports at Astro, told Lowyat.NET that a dedicated esports channel such as eGG could enhance the value of the esports industry.
On a related note, eGG Network is not the only channel on Astro that will be taken off the air soon though. There are other channels too including National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, Ta-Daa and Boomerang that will be discontinued on 1 February although the pay-TV operator has already added new channels such as Global Trekker, Love Nature/Love Nature 4K, DreamWorks, and BBC’s Cbeebies to become their replacements.
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