Television

ESS derives distribution benefits from World Cup

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MUMBAI: The ongoing FIFA soccer World Cup in Germany has helped ESPN Star Sports (ESS) get back on board over 600 cable operators who had severed ties with the sports channels even as football viewership increased.

Confirming the development, ESPN Software India distribution head Sricharan Iyengar told Indiantelevision.com, "The World Cup has done wonders for network development (read getting ESPN and Star Sports on cable networks and on prime band)."

Many cable networks, which had de-activated ESS signals owing to varying reasons, replacing the sports channels with other in-demand ones, decided to again do a samba with ESS as the football magic unfolds in Germany and public pressure built up for football.

"I would say, between 600-700 networks across India have either re-activated ESS signals or have signed up with us afresh," Iyengar said, adding the response has been more than enthusiastic and anticipated.

For example, ICC cable network in Pune, which had been involved in a running battle with ESS over non-payments of dues, kissed and made up soon after the World Cup got underway.

Industry observers also felt that the patch-up happened as ICC feared in the absence of ESPN and football, there could be subscriber desertion to Dish TV's DTH service, which had stepped up its sales pitch in places like Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad.



 

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