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ESPN STAR Sports launches India’s first HD Sports channels

ESPN HD & STAR Cricket HD go live from July 19, 2011; channels to be available on Videocon D2H and Tata Sky platforms.

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | July 20, 2011

ESPN STAR Sports, Asia’s biggest sports content provider, announced the launch of ESPN HD & STAR Cricket HD, India’s first 24x7 High Definition sports channels. With the introduction of two new channels, ESPN STAR Sports has expanded its bouquet to five channels in India - ESPN, STAR Cricket, STAR Sports, ESPN HD and STAR Cricket HD.

ESPN HD & STAR Cricket HD will showcase the exciting sports action in High Definition from ESPN STAR Sports’ stellar line-up of premier international sporting events including cricket, soccer, tennis, golf and motor sports among others. The highly anticipated India’s cricket tour of England starting July 21, will be the first premier event to be showcased LIVE on STAR Cricket HD to be followed by other premier events such as the Champions LeagueT20 and India’s tour of Australia. ESPN HD will showcase F1 action from the Hungarian Grand Prix, GP2 Series and other events such as the US Senior Open Golf and Major League Baseball in the month of July to be followed next month with the start of the highly anticipated 2011-2012 season of the Barclays Premier League.

Manu Sawhney, Managing Director, ESPN STAR Sports, said, “It continues to be our aim to enhance the experience of sports fans. The launch of ESPN HD & STAR Cricket HD is yet another milestone in sports broadcasting and demonstrates our commitment to continue serving the fans by offering them the most enriching and engaging experience with the finest line-up of sports content in unparalleled image and sound quality. Fans want to be up close to the action and there’s no better way to experience the splendour than High Definition given the broader aspect ratio, higher resolution and enhanced audio that allows sport events to be broadcast in their full glory.

Speaking on the strategic importance of the launch of HD networks, Manu Sawhney, added, “We see huge potential for the HD channels in India and have received a very positive and encouraging response from advertisers and platform operators as we continue to set new industry benchmarks. We have a very exciting calendar of events ahead of us and with the launch of these two 24x7 High Definition sports networks, Indian sports fans can look forward to a completely new way of enjoying sports”.

ESPN HD and STAR Cricket HD will be available on Videocon D2H platforms and STAR Cricket HD will be available on TATA Sky with immediate effect.

Anil Khera, CEO, Videocon d2h, said, “We are proud to partner with ESPN STAR SPORTS to have their HD Channels on our DTH platform.  Both groups have the common objective of bringing enhanced viewing experience to its consumers. Our association with this group has been very successful, and with ESPN HD & STAR Cricket HD on board it will be strengthened further.  Our subscribers can now look forward to the upcoming cricket tour of India in England. Now watching sports on Videocon d2h will be truly breathtaking.”

Harit Nagpal, Managing Director and CEO, Tata Sky said, “After pioneering the launch of true HD, Tata Sky is happy to partner with ESPN STAR Sports to add one of the best sports channels focusing on our national passion, STAR Cricket HD on our platform. The new channel will be part of the HD Gold pack and also made available on an a-la-carte basis.”

Across the Asian region, ESPN STAR Sports now has 25 networks covering 24 countries and reaching out to over 300 million sports fans.


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