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Help India’s broadcasters eye Cricket World Cup opportunity
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India’s direct-to-home (DTH) TV operators are anticipating 21% growth in the coming financial year, thanks to heightened subscriber demand for the forthcoming ICC Cricket World Cup in high definition (HD), according to Business Standard.

Dish TV, the current DTH market leader in terms of subscriber numbers, is hoping to reach 11 million customers by the time the 43 day tournament begins, in the host nations of India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh on 19 February 2011.

Sales of Dish TV set top boxes are expected to double during the cricket season, with the operator planning to offer the myriad cricket TV channels in one – named ‘India cricket pack’ – for a monthly subscription of INR 30. The Indian Premier League will follow the ICC Cricket World Cup, and so momentum is expected to continue after the latter tournament ends on 2 April, reports Business Standard.

Other DTH operators are also seeking to get a slice of the cricketing pie, though are yet to announce their ICC World Cup plans. Most are reported to agree, however, that along with interactive content, HD recording will be of importance to new customers.

Airtel Digital TV also points to previous promotional tie-ups with manufacturer LG for high end LCD TVs as a path which may be travelled. Sugato Banerji, CMO-DTH Services, Bharti Airtel told Business Standard: “New campaigns based around technology are sure to be launched and we will intensify our activity in retail stores and partnerships with TV brands.”

Meanwhile, official broadcaster ESPN -Star Sports has announced it will transmit all 49 Cricket World Cup matches across the host nations of India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh via its ESPN, Star Sports and Star Cricket channels; matches will also be streamed in HD for 3G mobile TV consumption.

“At ESPN-Star Sports, we are launching many first of its kind initiatives during this edition [of the ICC World Cup],including a special Hindi feed for select matches, HD production and live match coverage through 3G mobile streaming,” said Manu Sawhney, managing director, ESPN-Star Sports.

Live footage at the tournament will be shot in HD, via 27 cameras at each match (including one mid-wicket), utilising six outside broadcast vehicles and a 350-strong ESPN-Star Sports production crew.

ESPN-Star Sports has syndicated the TV rights of the tournament to over 200 territories so far, and hopes to reach a billion viewers.

Source: Rapidtvnews.com

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