ESS shows the way with HD launch

MUMBAI: ESPN Star Sports today announced the launch of ESPN HD and Star Cricket HD, India‘s first 24x7 High Definition sports channels.

ESPN HD and Star Cricket HD will be available on Videocon d2h platform and Star Cricket HD on Tata Sky with immediate effect.

India‘s cricket tour of England will be the first premier event to be showcased live on Star Cricket HD from 21 July. This will be followed by other 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 2011-2012 season of the Barclays Premier League.

With the introduction of these 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.
Said ESPN Star Sports managing director Manu Sawhney, "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, 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."

Added Tata Sky MD and CEO Harit Nagpal, "The new channel will be part of the HD Gold pack and is also made available on an a-la-carte basis."

ESS is in talks with the other DTH operators to carry their HD channels.

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