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ESPN Star Sports launches HD channels on cable networks

Signs distribution pacts with leading MSOs including Incable, Seven Star and UCN

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | December 28, 2011

ESPN Star Sports (ESS) has announced the launch of its HD channels -- ESPN HD and Star Cricket HD -- on cable networks. The broadcaster announced that it has signed distribution contracts with three leading national level MSOs including IndusInd Media Communications (Incable), Seven Star Network in Mumbai and UCN in central India. Hitherto, ESPN HD and Star Cricket HD were available on leading DTH players, but this will be the first time that they would be made available to cable viewers.

TS Panesar, VP - Affiliate Sales, ESPN Software India, 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. With the digitisation of the entire distribution industry in cable fraternity on the anvil, this deal with leading MSOs is a harbinger of what is in store in future.”

“We have a very content heavy year ahead of us. The Australian tour will keep us busy till March 2012. It is a long tour with more than 37 days of live international content. The tour will be followed by the broadcast of the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games. As the official broadcaster of the London Olympics, we will showcase the complete Olympics experience for the first time across the region, with coverage on multiple platforms of ESS. The live telecast of ICC T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka follows on our networks in September to be followed by the telecast of Nokia Champions League Twenty20 in October,” added Panesar.

Nagesh Chhabria, CEO, Incable, 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 is 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.”

Nadir Ali, Director, Seven Star, commented, “It is interesting to note how the industry is shaping up. We are ready with the backend infrastructure to support and lead these 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.”

Jagdish Paliya, Director, UCN Nagpur, said, “We have always believed in giving maximum options to our consumers and the addition of ESPN HD and Star Cricket HD is a step in that direction.”

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