This marks the network's foray into sports broadcasting in India.
Discovery Communications today announced the launch of DSPORT, a new sports channel in India. "DSPORT has a clear ambition to redefine sports engagement, by giving viewers access to unmatched 'live' sporting action from around the world. With a rich catalogue that covers 4000+ hours of 'live' content every year, DSPORT's offering is unrivalled in the Indian market," informs the network in a media statement.
Karan Bajaj, senior vice president and general manager, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific says, "We are excited to add yet another flagship brand to our growing offering with the launch of DSPORT, which is set to redefine sports entertainment. Combining India's passion for sports with our global expertise in sports production DSPORT will offer a daily dose of 10+ hours of live content for viewers across the country."
R.C. Venkateish former MD of ESPN Star and former CEO of Dish TV India will be working with DSPORT especially in areas related to content acquisition for the channel. He is associated with the channel in an advisory role at this stage.
The initial offering of the channel includes:
. Horse Racing
. Football: Brazilan League, Chinese Super League, Portuguese League, Major League Soccer (USA)
. Golf: British Open (The Open Championship), US Open, PGA Championship, LPGA
. Motorsports: NASCAR, FIA World Rallycross Championship
. Rugby: 6 Nations Rugby
. Cycling: Tour de France (a property of Eurosport)
DSPORT is in advanced negotiations for selected high quality cricket events to add to the above-mentioned portfolio. "We are launching tonight with presence in over 35 million households and we are in talks with other distribution platforms to further enhance our reach," Bajaj concludes.
Discovery becomes the most recent entrant in the sports broadcasting business in India. Star India, Sony Pictures Networks, Essel Group's Ten Sports Networks, Nimbus Communications and Doordarshan's DD Sports are already operating in the category. 2.1 per cent of total television viewership comes from sports genre.