Star Cricket ties in WWIL, eyeing Hathway deal to sum up distribution

NEW DELHI: ESPN Software India today signed a deal with Zee Group‘s cable arm WWIL for the broadcaster‘s latest channel Star Cricket. The deal with WWIL is for Delhi, Ludhiana and Chandigarh region, where the channel would be distributed by the MSO.

This takes forward the aggressive distribution work that the premier cricket channel is undertaking, and on the face of market reports that subscribers are not interested in paying for the channel, company sources claimed that this proves otherwise.

ESPN Software, which yesterday tied up also with TataSky, has already concluded a deal with WWIL Mumbai and Kolkata earlier.

Company sources said that major MSO Hathway is the only one left so far, but expects that with InCable having inked the deal, other MSOs would be bound to follow.

Though the company has said it is giving the channel at Rs 28 per subscriber per month, it is not revealing the details on whether it is a subscription based or minimum guarantee one.

The difference between WWIL and the other two major national MSOs, Hathway and InCable, company officials say, is that while the other two make a single deal which is valid for the entire country, WWIL operates through fully owned subsidiaries in most cities.

Hence, the individual companies under the WWIL banner are signing up separate deals, of which Star Cricket has bagged two more important ones.

Star Cricket is now available across all major platforms nationally including all Cas notified areas. In the non-Cas areas, the broadcaster has already signed deals with leading MSOs as too multiple independent operators across the country, a company official said.

With this, Star Cricket is now available across all major cities of the country. As of today, Star Cricket‘s penetration has reached more than 75 per cent of the reach of ESPN and Star Sports in the country, company officials claim.

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