Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New Cricket Channel from Zee Network: How is that?

If the media reports are true then a new TV channel on Cricket would emerge from Zee Networks soon. India is the land of cricket and that is why it is not very surprising that Zee Network is trying to come up with a Cricket channel. It will surely increase competition in this market segment as there are some other cricket channels like Neo Cricket and Star Cricket.
At this moment, Neo Cricket and Star Cricket are considered to be the main competitors in the cricket broadcast to Zee Network. Zee, however, has a popular sports channel called Ten Sports under its belt, but Ten Sports is not exclusively a cricket channel. Neo Cricket has TV rights of domestic matches of India and this is very important because India is still the largest market. Neo Cricket also broadcast matches held in Bangladesh.
Star Cricket perhaps provides the largest amount of cricket content and this channel is totally dedicated to this sports. It is part of ESPN and Star Sports and they have the rights of ICC events as well as Champions League T20 cricket.
Ten Sports now shows cricket matches held in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies, South Africa and Zimbabwe. However, as said earlier, it is a multi-sport TV channel or mixed channel as it covers other sporting events like UEFA Champions League, football, hockey, US Open Tennis, WWE wrestling and horse racing. It is understood that Zee Network will continue to show most of these programs in the coming days.
Zee has another sports channel called Zee Sports and this channel will become mainly focused on football or soccer. In Zee Sports, football fans can watch the matches of Indian professional I-League as well as some matches of UEFA Champions League and Carling Cup of England. There are also some media rumors that Zee Network will come up with a channel only for golf or a dedicated golf channel. Golf is not very popular, but it has some dedicated supporters in India. It is also to be noted that golf is an expensive game played mainly by rich people and sponsorship is not that much of a problem in this spots.
It is notable that the owner of Zee Entertaining Enterprise Shubash Chandra started the rebel cricket league called ICL or Indian Cricket League after failing to get TV rights of broadcasting the matches played in India. The main goal was to deliver cricket matches for Zee Sports.
So, it is not clear if Mr. Chandra will come up with another round of ICL or something like this for the new cricket channel. Or it may happen that existing cricket matches broadcast in Ten Sports will be shifted in the new cricket channel that is going to come in the next few months. Whenever there will two matches at the same time, one match will be shown in the new cricket channel and the other match will be shown in Ten Sports.
Still, these are all media speculations and you have to wait for another few months to know whether Zee Network will indeed start a separate channel for cricket.

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