ESPN Star Sports to undergo major changes...
Subcontinent feeds of sports channels ESPN Star Sports which are now managed by Star TV in India, are to undergo major changes from 6th Nov 2013. ESPN exited the joint venture last year resulting in the subsequent rebranding of ESPN as "Fox Sports" in Asia. After months of deliberations it has been decided that ESPN will be rebranded under the Star Sports brand in the subcontinent instead of Fox Sports as the rest of Asia.As per the rebranding exercise, India is rumored to get a dedicated Hindi Sports channel which will also concentrate mainly on Indian domestic sports.Given below is a quick round of how the channel rebranding exercise will take place
The above is just a summary of what is expected, however it's quite clear that there will be changes to the above from time-to-time since this largely depends on the "live" properties that will be carried simultaneously. The exclusive "live" rights for the 2016 Summer Olympic games are with Star Sports and its clear that all 6 channels will the carry games depending on the number of events taking place simultaneously. At the moment Star Sports, ESPN, ESPN HD & Star Cricket are on local pay television platforms meaning that after the rebranding exercise it will be "Star Sports 1", "Star Sports 4", "Star Sports HD 2" & "Star Sports 3" that will be the channels available on local platforms.Star Sports 3 is rumored to be mainly Hindi, so the most obvious choice for local operators will be to swap "Star Sports 3" with "Star Sports 2", however in the long run it would mean that content on Star Sports 3 will be missed by locals since it will be mainly Hindi but not 24 hours Hindi and depending on how many "live" properties are simultaneously being carried "live", it highly likely that English content will be available on Star Sports 3 too.So the best option would be for local operators to carry all 4 SD Star Channels & HD enabled operators to carry all 6 ensuring that locals enjoy the best of sports from Star Sports.
We hope Dialog TV will take steps to address this situation pertaining to changes being introduced by Star Sports India & make the appropriate changes. Due to lack of transponder capacity, they are totally unprepared for this sort of ramp up in programming/channels that is being carried out by Star Sports India.
It's likely that Dialog TV will replace Star Cricket which will be known from 6th Nov as Star Sports 3 with Star Sports 2, however this is not an ideal situation since as mentioned in the above article, English language content will be available on Star Sports 3 depending on the number of "live" events that will be telecast simultaneously. Besides it's not clear whether it will be Star Sports HD 1 or 2 that will be available from 6th onwards, if the present ESPN HD channel is retained then it will be Star Sports 2 HD that will be available from 6th onwards.
In addition the present channel arrangement of ESPN, Star Sports & Star Cricket will mean that it will be in the order "Star Sports 4", "Star Sports 1" & "Star Sports 3". We hope Dialog TV takes steps to rearrange the channels in a proper order from 6th Nov, plus make necessary arrangements to the channels offered in packages/plans.
Please keep us updated on the latest on Dialog TV as the days progress.