The popular sports channels, ESPN and Star Sports, have revised their packaged price by Rs. 8 with effect from the 1st of next month taking the subscriber home rate to Rs. 32 per month.
Justifying the hike, Manu Sawhney, Managing Director, ESPN Software India Pvt. Ltd. said, "We are committed to providing top quality sports content to viewers on our networks. The ever increasing cost of creating and acquiring compelling content and the issue of under declaration, which mars our industry compels us to revise our prices on a periodic basis."
The company is also studying the option of providing content to the DTH (direct-to-home) operators who are expected to commence operations in the country shortly.
It must be noted that ESPN Star Sports has rights to telecast international cricket from eight out of ten test-playing nations. This translates into more than 1000 days of live and exclusive top quality international cricket over the next five years including the upcoming India's tour of New Zealand in December 2002. ESPN Star Sports has also acquired the telecast rights to feature comprehensive daily highlights of all international cricket played in India till September 2004.
The sports network has recently beefed up its programming by launched two weekly programmes featuring Sachin Tendulkar, 'India Vs.' and 'Sachin Speaks on World Cup Stars' as part of the lead up programming to the World Cup to be played in South Africa.