ESPN-Star to hike subscription rate from Jan 1

 Leading sports channel ESPN-Star is set to hike its package rate by 8.5 per cent to Rs16 per subscriber home from 1 January, 2001

The rates were separately pegged earlier. ESPN's pricing of Rs 8.25 has been in force since October 1999 and Star Sports has been pegged at Rs6.50 since January 2000. Both channels will however continue to be available as stand alone services.

Cable operators were informed on 10 December about the porposed hike and have indicated they have no problems with the move. Pranesh Kerkar of Seven Star Cable Network said the hike would be absorbed by the operators, leaving subscriber rates unaffected.

ESPN-Star has lined up 225 days of live cricket coverage for 2001 which includes 70 one-day internationals.

The coverage will include India's tour of Zimbabwe (two test matches), the India-Zimbabwe-West Indies Triangular series (7 one-day internationals), the Sahara Cup cricket (five internationals), and the India tour of South Africa (three test matches and 7 one-day internationals).

ESPN-Star will also cover the Pakistan, England and Australia Triangular One-day Series (10 one-day internationals) and the Australia Vs England Ashes Series covering 5 test matches.

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