The recent move by ESPN Star Sports is sure to make the Indian cricket lovers, quite ecstatic and is also sure to pose quite a few roadblocks for its competitors. In a multi-million and a multi-cricket board deal, ESPN Star Sports has acquired the exclusive international cricket telecast rights for all international cricket from Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and England for a period of 5 years, starting 2003.
According to the deal, ESPN Star Sports would now be able to bring 805 additional days of international test and one-day cricket, making a total of 1100 days of live cricket programming. Also, for their respective markets, ESPN and Star Sports would have exclusive C&S, Terrestrial, Radio and other delivery system rights, which would help the sports broadcaster exclusively feature 119 test matches and 210 one-day internationals. This includes 203 days of cricketing action from Australia, 145 days from South Africa, 207 days from England, 120 days from New Zealand and 130 days from Zimbabwe. Surely, that’s a lot of cricket and should leave the competitors panting.
When asked if ESPN Star Sports had any plans to sell the terrestrial rights to DD, the ESPN Software India MD-Manu Sawhney said, "This is not a part of our business proposition as of now." However, Sawhney chose not to comment when asked about Prasar Bharati's plea to the I&B ministry to grant rights for all events of national importance (read matches involving the Indian cricket team).
The break-up of the number of cricketing days per year is 156 in the year 2002, 181 in the year 2003, 238 in the year 2004, 194 in the year 2005, 198 in the year 2006 and 141 in the year 2007.
Exudes Sawhney, "Vis-à-vis our cricket programming of 1108 days, SET has a total of 153 days of cricket programming, Ten Sports has 184 days and DD has 100 days."
This development on ESPN Star Sports follows its key marketing and programming initiative, which brings in Sachin Tendulkar as ESPN Star Sport's ambassador and promoter for the next 3 years.
Said an ecstatic Sawhney, "The latest development has been a part of our constant endeavor to innovate, create and bring compelling sports to our viewers."
First run on 29th July, 4:00 p.m.