Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Malaysia plans new homegrown sports channel

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) — Malaysia's Olympic council is developing a new sports channel to promote homegrown stars and neglected sports like chess, an official said Monday.

Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) secretary general said the channel would be aired on Malaysia's private cable operator Astro.

"The OCM is working with Astro to create the first full sports channel to encourage local sports events and push sports development here," he told AFP.

The channel will help "highlight our local talent and this will provide another form of motivation for our sportsmen to excel," he said, adding that events like 10-pin bowling and state-level football would get a boost.

"Many games like the Selangor (state) league football matches and less popular sports like chess matches don't get any airtime as TV stations normally ask us to pay for the crew or get sponsors to pay for the costs," he said.

Malaysia produced top Southeast Asian sportsmen in the 1970s but in recent years standards have declined -- even in popular sports like football and hockey -- because of a lack of sports development and investment.

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