Malaysia – American sports channel, All Sports Television Network, will be introducing sepak takraw to American audiences. This is after the television network came to an agreement with local broadcaster, Astro, to air the Sepak Takraw League (STL) produced by Astro Arena.
As per the agreement, All Sports will be airing events from STL’s international, national and regional tournaments. According to All Sports president, Roger Neal Smith, the network is also planning to broadcast matches from other sepak takraw’s organisations from all over the world.
“We are truly thrilled to introduce sepak takraw to the American public.
“Broadcasting the matches further accomplishes our goal of opening the sporting world doors to American fans, which allows them to begin experiencing events from around the world,” Smith said in a press release.
Meanwhile, Astro head of sports, Lee Choong Khay also expresses his excitement as sepak takraw was finally getting the international recognition that it deserves. Lee added that STL, for the past eight seasons, has been a local favourite and has been attracting regional viewership and participation in the past few seasons.
“Through STL, we continue to work with sport ministries in Malaysia to develop the sport and its athletes.
“The league features competition of the highest level which will excite fans and new viewers to the sport.
“With STL being shown for the first time in another region through All Sports, we hope to grow more fans and new athletes of sepak takraw,” Lee said.
Sepak takraw or also referred to as ‘Kick Volleyball ‘is a popular sport in South-east Asia, and it has been gaining international traction lately. Last July, ESPN UK tweeted a snippet from a sepak takraw tournament on its Twitter page along with the caption ‘Could watch this sport all day’.
The snippet has been viewed over 100,000 times on Twitter.
The fast-paced sport which make acrobatics look easy was also highlighted in a post by prominent football community Instagram page, 433.