Our Bureau

New Delhi, Dec. 19

ESPN STAR Sports is hoping to garner over Rs 100 crore after it renewed its contract with ASC Enterprises Ltd for distribution of its channels on its direct-to-home (DTH) platform, Dish TV, for the next two years.

In a statement, Mr Sricharan Iyengar, Vice-President, Sales and Marketing, ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd, said, "India's well developed cable industry has enjoyed the popularity of sports for pushing its growth. We expect that sports will have a similar effect on building the popularity of the DTH platform as well. We are bullish about the growth of DTH platform in India in the coming years and expect to earn more than Rs 100 crore as subscription revenue over the next two years."

Mr Sunil Khanna, CEO, Dish TV, further added, "We have recently crossed the three-million viewership mark, and presence of ESPN STAR Sports has been one of the important driving factors in Dish TV's penetration across India."

As part of the agreement, ASC will promote ESPN and STAR Sports on its services at par with the other Zee group channels available on Dish TV, while Dish TV will be promoted on ESPN and STAR Sports.

Meanwhile, the sports broadcaster today announced the acquisition of Chennai Open 2006, South Asia's only ATP International. The telecast rights of the $400,000 tournament were awarded to the premier broadcaster by IMG, who owns and organises this premier event. The Chennai Open will have 32 players taking part in the weeklong tournament starting on January 2, 2006.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 20, 2005)
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