ESPN STAR Sports kicks off HD channels on cable

Joseph O'Halloran ©RapidTVNews | 28-12-2011

Asia’s leading sports broadcaster, ESPN STAR Sports has ended 2011 with a deep incursion into the world of Indian cable TV with its HD channels ESPN HD & STAR Cricket HD.

The deal marks the first time that the HD sports channels are available to the cable viewers in the country and they will be made available through distribution contracts with three MSOs, namely Media Communications (Incable), Seven Star network in Mumbai and UCN in Central India.
Commenting on the deal TS Panesar, Vice President – Affiliate Sales, ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd, said: “We are delighted that cable viewers would now have the opportunity to watch the highly anticipated India Australia cricket series in high definition. We are extremely confident about the future prospects of our HD offerings and this is just a start. With the digitisation of the entire distribution industry in cable fraternity on the anvil, this deal with the leading MSOs is a harbinger of what is in store in the future.”
Nadir Ali, Director, Seven Star, added: “It is interesting to note how the industry is shaping up. We are ready with the backend infrastructure to support and in fact lead these new changes that are happening in the cable distribution sector. HD channels have huge potential and we are delighted to add ESPN HD and STAR Cricket HD in our product offering.”
For Incable's part, Nagesh Chhabria, CEO, also said, “We are delighted to sign the distribution contract for HD channels from ESPN STAR Sports bouquet. Even though the number of subscribers of HD channels are currently low, we are confident that the base would grow at a very healthy pace. This is the future and as always, we wanted to be at the forefront.”
In addition to the Australian tour of the Indian cricket team which began with the seasonal landmark of a Boxing Day test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), the broadcaster expects 2012 to be particularly busy with the transmission over the ESPN STAR Sports multiple platforms of the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games, the first time that it has offered a complete Olympics experience in the region, plus a live telecast of ICC T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka as well as the Nokia Champions League Twenty20.