ESPN Star launches HD sports channels in India

ESPN HD and Star Cricket HD have been unveiled, expanding ESS’s portfolio to five channels in India, with ESPN, Star Cricket and Star Sports already on offer. The India national cricket team’s tour of England will be the first premier event to be aired live on Star Cricket HD from July 21, with the channel also set to broadcast Champions League T20 action and cover India’s tour of Australia.

ESPN HD will showcase Formula One action from the Hungarian Grand Prix on July 31 as well as the GP2 Series and other events such as US Senior Open golf and Major League Baseball in July. In August, ESPN HD will kick off coverage of the 2011-12 Barclays Premier League season.

“It continues to be our aim to enhance the experience of sports fans,” said ESS managing director Manu Sawhney. “The launch of ESPN HD and Star Cricket HD is yet another milestone in sports broadcasting and demonstrates our commitment to continue serving the fans by offering them the most enriching and engaging experience with the finest line-up of sports content in unparalleled image and sound quality.”

Sawhney added: “We see huge potential for the HD channels in India and have received a very positive and encouraging response from advertisers and platform operators as we continue to set new industry benchmarks. We have a very exciting calendar of events ahead of us and with the launch of these two 24-seven, high-definition sports networks, Indian sports fans can look forward to a completely new way of enjoying sports.”

ESPN HD and Star Cricket HD will be available on Videocon D2H platforms and Star Cricket HD will be available on Tata Sky with immediate effect. Across the Asian region, ESS now has 25 networks covering 24 countries and reaches out to more than 300 million sports fans.