'Its my life' claims ESPN Star, but will the cable ops play ball?

ESPN Star on Friday unleashed ambitious programming plans for the year, even as cable ops in the country gear themselves to protest against the revised subscription rates of Rs 24.

ESPN MD Manu Sawhney, who addressed a press conference in Mumbai, said a total of 261 days on the channel would be devoted to cricket, of which 82 would feature Indian cricket. However, while DD will grab eyeballs in the beginning of the year with telecasts of international matches played on Indian soil, ESS has to wait till March to cover the Indian tour of the West Indies. The RS 8 hike in subscription rates, consequently, is not being seen too kindly by cable ops who are threatening to take the channel to court over the matter. Sawhney, however, is unperturbed.

Even as the year's plans harp on the massive willow coverage, he says the channel's focus has shifted to other sports like soccer, tennis, Formula 1 and golf. "The Indian viewer is discerning enough not to harp on Indian cricket all the time," he said, when quizzed about the response of cable operators to the hike.

An integrated PR campaign accompanies the new programming initiative, in print as well as on the electronic media. The channel's on-air promos feature its anchors Navjot Sidhu, Naseeruddin Shah, Harsha Bhogle and Geoff Boycott speaking of their passion for sport. The signature tune 'It's my life' runs through the entire campaign, making a pitch for the younger generation sports lovers in the country. ESS is hoping to pack in the viewers with three of the four Grand Slam telecasts, the US Open golf tournament, the Australian Grand Prix and the English Premier League soccer, among other sporting events.

Maintaining that the Indian viewer is going through a period of maturity and currently demands plurality of choice, Sawhney says pay TV is fast becoming the norm in India as in the rest of the world. Lamenting the under declaration of connectivity, Sawhney says cable ops give out only 16 to 20 per cent of the actual subscriber base. The channel has also taken the drastic step of switching off signals to certain cable ops in cases of gross underdeclaration and non-payment, he said.

Sports commentator Harsha Bhogle, who also addressed the media conference, said value added sports channels like ESS are doing yeoman service by showcasing human achievement rather than human failures projected by news channels.

ESS' programmes like Super Selector has already broken the record for the largest show of its genre globally. After netting 316000 participants in the last month of 2001, the show hosted by Naseeruddin Shah has won several awards including the Promax and BDA Asia awards for 2001.

The ESPN School Quiz that has covered two million students in 23 cities in India, will also be aired as a 61 episode programme from April 2002. The ESS programming line up also includes the Indian tour to England in June, the Indian tour to New Zealand in December and the India, England, Sri Lanka triangular in June, Wimbledon, US Open, Australian Open and ATP Masters Series tennis, the UEFA football championship and the World Superbikes Championship.

Latest Reads
Epic TV appoints Rajiee Shinde as president

Infotainment channel EPIC TV has announced the appointment of Rajiee M Shinde as president. In her new role at EPIC, she has been entrusted with the responsibility of expanding the business and building the EPIC network.

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Endemol Shine hires banks for a possible sale

Netherlands-based TV production company, Endemol Shine Group, has hired Deutsche Bank and Liontree to explore a potential sale that could be valued between $2- $4 billion including debt.

Television Production House Post Production
Leap into the world of robots and cyber terrorists as &flix brings the premiere of ‘Ghost in the Shell’

&flix, the all-new destination for the most-awaited Hollywood hits, is all set to bring the Indian television premiere of the 2017 American sci-fi action film ‘Ghost in the Shell’, this Sunday, June 24 at 1 PM & 9 PM. The movie, which is part of the channel’s ‘Flix First Premiere’ property...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
CNBC-TV18 announces the 8th edition of the india healthcare and wellness awards

CNBC-TV18, India’s leading English business news channel along with ICICI Lombard, announces the 8th edition of the‘Indian Healthcare and Wellness Awards.’ The awards will acknowledge and felicitate the best of medical and wellness service providers in the industry. The event will also serve as a...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Times Network appoints Mihir Bhatt as chief editor - IPs

MUMBAI: Times Network, part of India’s largest media conglomerate, The Times Group, today announced the appointment of Mihir Bhatt as chief editor – IPs. In his new role, Mihir will spearhead efforts to create unique and content-rich offerings on all IPs of the network, in addition to his...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Andrew Marshall joins HOOQ as general counsel

MUMBAI: HOOQ, Asia’s first video-on-demand service, has appointed Andrew Marshall as the new general counsel. Marshall, who will be  based out of the company’s headquarters in Singapore, will bring his legal and regulatory expertise to the streaming platform.

Television TV Channels People
Sony Yay to launch English audio feeds

MUMBAI: After building a robust content portfolio for their young viewers and becoming the only home-grown kids’ channel in India with five languages – Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and Malayalam, Sony Yay is set to add another feather to its cap by soon launching English audio feeds....

Television TV Channels Viewership
Formula 1 launches OTT platform with two subscription models

Formula 1 (F1), one of the world's most prized sporting properties, launched its over the top (OTT) service F1 TV last month. The platform comes with two service models - F1 TV Pro (Live) and F1 TV Access (non-live) - at different price points.

Television TV Channels Sports
Sony Pictures Networks India Announces Interactive Digital Experiences for Fans for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) is all set to transform the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia experience for fans through new digital initiatives. SPN has introduced an integration with Facebook AR (Augmented Reality) studio and has launched a unique Second Screen experience for viewers.

Television TV Channels Sports

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories