ESPN STAR says it has pulled off a coup of sorts.
The sports broadcaster announced the acquisition of exclusive telecast rights for all international cricket to be held in five countries - Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and England - at the press conference yesterday in the capital. The rights stretch over five years effective 2003.
To this end, ESPN STAR has entered into an agreement with Octagon-CSI, the marketing agency for the five cricket boards (Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and England). The rights to cricket played in the five counties will help ESPN STAR feature 119 test matches and 210 one-day internationals. From Australia, there will be 203 days of cricket, from South Africa 145 days, from England 207 days, from New Zealand 120 days of cricket and from Zimbabwe 130 another days of cricket.
Manu Sawhney, managing director, ESPN Software, refused to disclose the amount the network has spent to acquire the rights that will enable ESPN STAR to bring 805 days of international test matches and one day cricket - in addition to the rights it already has - to viewers across India. But he reiterated that ESPN STAR now holds rights to eight out of 10 test playing nations including Australia, Pakistan, South Africa, England, West Indies, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. "This acquisition, along with other rights, will enable ESPN STAR to showcase 1,108 days of live and exclusive international cricket over the next five years," says Rik Dovey, managing director, ESPN STAR Sports.
This acquisition looks like a good compensation for the loss of bids for the next two Cricket World cups. This against competition which is getting hotter with every passing day. Check the calendar of other sports channels. TEN Sports has bagged the rights to all the cricket matches to be played in Sri Lanka, Sharjah and Morocco; DD Sports holds rights to all international cricket matches played in India; and SET Max has telecast rights for the next two World Cups and three ICC tournaments.
With this acquisition, ESPN STAR has, in a way, turned the tables on competition. "The network will now be able to show more cricket than the entire competition put together," claims Sawhney. So while ESPN STAR will show 1,108 days of international cricket for the next five years, SET Max will show just 153 of days, TEN Sports 184 and DD Sports another 100 days of cricket. © 2002 agencyfaqs!