Television

India-Pak 'Showdown' on ESS highlights package

MUMBAI: Persistence pays. After initially being given the cold shoulder by the India-pakistan cricket series telecast rights holder Prasar Bharati, ESPN Star Sports secured a daily two-hour highlights package from Doordarshan.

ESS announced that from the current Test match being played in Kolkata onwards, it will air a daily two-hour highlights programme titled Showdown that will examine the progress that India and Pakistan are making in the series. The special will air on all match days starting today 16 March at 8 pm on Star Sports.

 

ESS is highlighting the fact that its expert commentary team is the best in the business including the likes of Geoffrey Boycott, Sunil Gavaskar, Wasim Akram, Alan Wilkins, Ravi Shastri and Harsha Bhogle.

 

 

A Few Good Men (as the commentary team is called) will analyse each day's game for the remaining two tests and six ODIs.

ESS India MD RC Venkateish said, "Each day we will show an hour's footage of the match. Doordarshan made an offer to broadcasters to avail of footage and we have availed of the same. This package was put together by us in the past 48 hours and Airtel is the title sponsor.

"For the fan it is an additional opportunity to revisit the exciting instances from the day's play. Our commentators, definitely the best in the business, will be getting into a confrontationist posture while siding with India or the Pakistan team or while presenting conflicting points of view."

It may be recalled that Ventakateish had earlier protested at DD's denial of the daily highlights to ESS citing a memorandum of understanding signed between ESS and Prasar Bharati, which had stated that the latter "would have to provide highlight packages if it caught the telecast rights."

The MoU, signed last year, also envisaged that ESS would have to share with Doordarshan, controlled by Prasar Bharati, the terrestrial feed and a highlight package if ESS had the rights for Indian cricket.

At that time Prasar Bharati CEO KS Sarma was quoted in media reports as saying, "My agreement with ESS is applicable only in case of either of us bagging four-year telecast rights. Presently this is a temporary arrangement under an interim order and we are not obliged to provide them one-hour telecast packages."

Meanwhile, ESS is quite confident that Showdown will get an enthusiatic response from both viewers and advertisers. The broadcaster claims that in the past highlights programming has done well. When India toured Australia the highlights programme called Sunny By Night reached out to 48.3 Million individuals in C&S households. In the male segment Sunny By Night, reached out to 63 per cent of Males (15+, SEC ABC, C&S homes). In the Metros Sunny By Night received highs of 2.4 TVR in Mumbai, 3.9 in Kolkata, 2.9 in Delhi, 3.8 in Hyderabad and 2.5 in Bangalore and an overall rating of 0.9 on an All India level (Males, 15+, SEC ABC, C&S homes).

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