Taj Television India, owned by Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL), has launched Ten Cricket, a dedicated cricket-only channel. This will be the third sports channel under ZEEL, the first two being Zee Sports and Ten Sports.
Ten Cricket promises 100 days of live cricketing action. It will showcase a mix of live, recorded and feature programming, with customised content for Indian audiences.
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Atul Pande, CEO, Sports Business, ZEEL says, "We understand that the sports consumption pattern of the Indian viewer raises the need for specialized, differentiated sport channels. And this is what we hope to deliver to our revered cricket viewers. Ten Cricket will also showcase feature programming on cricket, including magazine shows and archival programming, apart from live matches."
Ten Cricket has broadcast rights of five cricket boards: Sri Lanka, South Africa, Pakistan, West Indies and Zimbabwe. "Going forward, we intend to further strengthen our content line up in cricket," Pande adds.
Early this year, ZEEL had acquired an additional 45 per cent stake in Dubai-based Taj TV, which housed Ten Sports. ZEEL had a 50 per cent stake in the entity, which it had acquired for $114 million in 2007.
ZEEL has also acquired an additional 50 per cent stake in its subsidiary, Taj Television (India), which handles the distribution and ad sales for Ten Sports India. This makes Taj Television (India) a wholly owned subsidiary of ZEEL. Distribution of all three sports channels will be handled by Taj TV.
Neo Cricket and STAR Cricket are the two cricket-specific channels in India currently.