ESPN-STAR Sports, a 50:50 joint venture between ESPN Inc and STAR, is in the process of differentiating the two channels – ESPN and STAR Sports. Jamie Davis, MD, ESPN-STAR Sports, said, “Though there will be overlap of sports events covered on the two channels, ESPN will be positioned as a channel for hardcore sports enthusiasts, while STAR Sports will feature sports entertainment and reality shows.”
Davis was speaking at the sidelines of the announcement of the broadcaster’s association with the 1st Special Olympics International Cricket Cup Tournament to be held in India between November 6 and 13, 2006.
“We have already changed the looks and graphics of the two channels. One can notice the significant difference in coverage at present during the English Premier League Football Championship, which began on August 19. However, in India the differentiation will be more visible during the upcoming India-South Africa Cricket Series, where we will have different sets of commentators. While ESPN will focus purely on English commentary, ESPN will also have commentary in Hindi and will also feature two lady commentators,” Davis added.
He further said that ESPN-STAR Sports would also be launching Mobile STAR Sports in six to nine months’ time. “We launched Mobile ESPN in India in association with Airtel during World Cup Soccer 2006, where live scores were provided on mobile phones.”
Without revealing the exact date of the launch of Mobile STAR Sports, Davis said, “The property will be launched before a major sporting event.”
When asked how serious the broadcaster is about the revenue potential of mobile content, Davis said, “In today’s world, we know our viewer is not always sitting before the television set. So, we have to be present wherever he goes. I don’t consider mobile and the Internet as secondary revenue streams, they have the potential of becoming significantly separate revenue streams.”