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Astro acquires rights for Races of Malaysia motorsports double-header

Hafizh Syahrin of Malaysia and Team KTM Tech 3 with his wife during the MotoGp of Austria. (Photo by Mirco Lazzari/Getty Images)

Malaysian pay-television broadcaster Astro will broadcast live coverage of the inaugural ‘Races of Malaysia’ motorsports event this December under a new media rights agreement with Eurosport Events.

The coverage is part of a wider agreement which covers rights for races from the 2019-20 season of the FIM Endurance World Championship and the 2019 season of the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR). Eurosport Events is the promoter of both properties.

Races of Malaysia comprises the ‘8 Hours of Sepang’ FIM EWC motorcycle race on Saturday, December 14, and the WTCR Race of Malaysia on December 15. Both events will take place at the Sepang International Circuit.

Astro will show live coverage of 8 Hours of Sepang and next July’s Suzuka 8 Hours, in Japan, as well as highlights of five other EWC rounds. Malaysian MotoGP rider Hafizh Syahrin is competing in the championship.

The broadcaster will show live coverage of the WTCR Race of Malaysia, including qualifying sessions on Friday, December 13 and all three races on Sunday, December 15. Delayed coverage will be available on OTT platform Astro GO. Astro will also show highlights of the preceding WTCR races in China, Japan and Macau which build up to the season-ending Race of Malaysia.

In a press release announcing the deal, CK Lee, head of sports at Astro, said: “We strive to provide the best coverage of international and local sporting events as the home of sports in Malaysia. Our homegrown sports channel, Astro Arena, will provide live coverage of the Races of Malaysia. As Astra Arena follows our local athletes, we urge sports fans to cheer them on as they race at this upcoming event.”

François Ribeiro, head of Eurosport Events, said: “The Astro channel has a solid motorsport fan base in Malaysia on two and four wheels. I have no doubt they will do an excellent job to promote our double-header event and give it strong domestic coverage.”