Television

Star Sports receives permission to broadcast in regional languages, 4 new channels to be launched

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MUMBAI: Regional languages have received a great thrust with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) granting sports broadcaster Star Sports the permission to telecast in all regional languages.

The languages are Assamese, Bengali, Bodi, Dogri, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and any other language as permitted under the Constitution of India. The permission to uplink has been given for Star Sports 1, Star Sports 2, Star Sports 3, Star Sports 4, Star Sports HD 1 and Star Sports HD 2.

The sports broadcaster has also got the licence to come up with four new sports channels: ESPN, ESPN HD, Star Sports Highlights and Star Cricket Asia. These four new channels too have been granted permission to uplink in the regional languages permitted under the Constitution.

The sports broadcaster, which broke away from the joint venture with ESPN Software India in 2012, was until now downlinking from Hong Kong and Singapore. Now with the permissions, the uplinking will be done from Noida, with a backup from Mumbai.

With regard to the brand name ESPN, according to Star India sources, Star Sports still has the permission to use the name since the licence was applied before the JV between Star Sports and ESPN ended.

It is also learnt that after initiatives like the Pro Kabaddi League and the Hero Indian Super League, Star Sports will be promoting other national sports and therefore create its own IP’s.

The broadcaster had applied for licences in several regional languages for ‘operational feasibility’ and will decide over a period of time when to provide content in regional languages.

With the new licences, Star Sports now has a total of 10 channels under its bouquet: Star Sports 1, Star Sports 2, Star Sports 3, Star Sports 4, Star Sports HD 1, Star Sports HD 2, ESPN, ESPN HD, Star Sports Highlights and Star Cricket Asia.

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