ESPN eyes upside in pay revenue on back of 4 big events

MUMBAI: On the back of four big sports events over the next 12 months, ESPN Star Sports (ESS) is targeting an aggressive growth in pay-TV revenues.

ESS will showcase the ICC Champions Trophy

2009, Airtel Champions League T20 2009, Fifa World Cup 2010 and ICC World T20 2010.

Says ESPN Software India associate VP, affiliate sales Makarand Palekar, “Riding on this strong content which will enable us to post strong revenue figures for this fiscal, we are looking at a sizeable growth in our paid subscriber base across India."

The sports broadcaster claims that it has signed renewals with DEN India on a national basis, InCable in South India, SitiCable in Kolkata & Mumbai, ICC in Pune, Manthan, Calcom, KCBP and Cablecom in Kolkata, Seven Star in Mumbai, UCN in Nagpur and a host of other affiliates across the country.

The ICC Champions Trophy, starting from 22 September, will see the top eight cricket nations fight it out for the coveted title. The tournament will have 15 matches.

The Champions League T20 will see 12 domestic T20 champions from seven test-playing countries play 23 matches for the title ‘Champion of Champions‘.

The ICC World T20, to be played from April to May 2010 in the West Indies, will have as many as 27 T20 matches.

The Fifa World Cup, to be played in the month of June and July next year, will have 32 countries fighting it out for the trophy from 64 matches.

Palekar says 60 per cent of the broadcaster‘s revenue comes from distribution. He adds that last year the broadcaster had decided not to rock the boat. The understanding reached with the distribution community was that this year there would be an increase in declarations from the cable TV operators.

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