We will be a six-channel bouquet by next year

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3 Nov 2010
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: With the broadcast of ICC World Cup cricket, sports broadcaster ESPN India has hit the jackpot. Generating over R1,000 crore of revenues including advertising and subscription revenue, ESPN is now gearing for more channels and high-quality content for Indian consumers. Aloke Malik, the new managing director of ESPN Software, shares his plans with FE's Ashish Sinha.

You wouldn’t have taken over the charge of ESPN India at a better time than this. How has been the experience so far?

I have been here for around four months. This is the first ICC World Cup cricket we are telecasting and it is indeed a great feeling. Ratings for both India and the non-India matches have exceeded the expectations for both us and our advertisers. But managing the logistics of bringing world class telecast to millions of viewers has been challenging.

What kind of work has gone behind bringing the telecast?

We have a team of more than 400 people on ground to cover the event. Additional 100 resources are employed for pre-post shows, Hindi language broadcast and other associated services. We have used six flyaway outside broadcast (OB) kits across the three host countries. Four of these are based in India.

Within India, all four kits are travelling using chartered flights. There is complex matrix that we have employed to ensure seamless transition across cities. While each unit with 26 cameras each covered the preliminary matches, knockout stage matches are being covered with 30 cameras. We have booked over 3,500 flights for the crew covering ICC CWC 2011.

What about the reach of ICC World Cup through the direct-to-home platforms as sports channels are placed in a-la-carte options?

About 70-80% or even more DTH homes have tuned in to ESPN, Star Sports and Star Cricket. And that is why advertisers support has been phenomenal. We have sold 95% inventory while holding the balance for the semi-finals and final. The spot rate for these have definitely gone up four to five times the pre-world cup spot rates.

What will ESPN News channel carry since it is already operational in Singapore? Does addition of more HD channel means circumventing the tariffs barrier to get more revenue?

ESPN News will be a sports news channels which will inform sports lovers about developments from around the world including the Asia-Pacific region and India. We are growing the business, but not at the cost of circumventing any laid down laws. We are determined to work with the regulator and the government laws to emphasise that sports broadcasting is a high-cost business unlike other genres like fiction, movies or music. And we will continue to do so in our engagements with the authorities. HD pricing, like any other genre, will depend on supply-demand and market scenario. There have to be takers for the content we put out.

How has HD broadcast help? Are you planning to make ESPN HD channel a full-time channel post World Cup?

Yes, why not? For now, the World Cup feed is in HD and that is what has been offered to the consumers. As and when the supply of HD content goes up, we will make the HD channel a full-time channel. HD reception of the ICC World Cup has been encouraging and we are extremely pleased with the response.

What is next for ESPN India once World Cup is over? Are you bringing in more channels?

Yes, we are. ESPN News has got the permission apart from ESPN HD. Star Cricket HD will be next. Work is in progress and all the three channels should become operational before the year ends. We are working towards becoming a six-channel bouquet by next year. After this, there will be Wimbledon and India’s next overseas tour.

give a link to that thread.
i have searched there is no thread like this..................
so, plz give the link:(
Here is link http://dreamdth.com/Forum/Thread-We-will-be-a-six-channel-bouquet-by-next-year
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