In a bid to consolidate its brand, ESPN Star Sports is focusing on other sports like soccer and Formula 1. The high cost of acquiring cricket rights could be one of the reasons behind this shift, but ESPN-Star Sports managing director Manu Sawhney says that the channel is not shying away from cricket.
Mr Sawhney said: “We’re focussing on the best in sporting action and programming.” English Premier League (EPL), a soccer event with worldwide popularity, is one such sporting action about which ESPN is upbeat.
ESPN holds telecast rights in 7 out of 10 cricketing countries. The channel is still trying to find out the difference in TRPs and ad revenues between cricket and other events.
Pepsi, Samsung and Madura Garments have signed up for EPL sponsorship. And for Formula 1, MRF, Ford and Pepe Jeans have signed up. According to Mr. Sawhney, the ad rates are healthy. Though rates differ, he admitted that the rates were the highest for cricket.