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Ten Sports to unveil rebranded channels on 1 Apr; gets licence for HD channel

MUMBAI: Ten Sports Network is in the process of doing away with sport-focused channels, except Ten Golf HD. The ZEEL-owned network has decided to rebrand the channels in numeric series, which it plans to unveil on 1 April, say industry sources.

The network has also procured a licence from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) to launch a high-definition (HD) channel under the name Ten 2 HD, a source said.

The rebranding idea is make the channels universal rather than limiting them to one sport. The move will allow Ten Sports more room to tackle live content particularly in case of an overlap. Globally, sports channels brand their channels numerically.

The network will rebrand Ten Sports as Ten 1, Ten Action as Ten 2, Ten Cricket as Ten 3 and Ten HD as Ten 1 HD. Ten Golf HD, which was earlier a standard-definition (SD) channel, will be the only sport-specific channel in the network’s portfolio. Ten Golf SD was shut down to launch the HD version.

Once the new licence becomes effective, Ten Sports will have six sports channels—three in SD and three in HD. The three SD channels are Ten 1, 2, and 3 while the three HD channels will be Ten 1 HD, Ten 2 HD and Ten Golf HD.

It is pertinent to note that parent company ZEEL had recently secured two new licences under Ten 3 and Ten 4 names. It is not clear whether these licences will be used for launching new sports channels.

The sports business is housed under Taj Television, which incidentally also manages the TV distribution business.

In July 2015, the broadcaster had donned a new logo for the network. At that time, it had stated that the network launch was the first phase of the branding exercise where all existing channels would be consolidated under the umbrella of Ten Sports Network. The new network logo binds the new-age sports-watching viewers with the new network branding activity.

TelevisionPost.com was the first to report that Ten Sports Network had received the MIB’s approval to rename its channels. The network was also looking to expand its portfolio by launching more channels particularly in the HD space.

Ten Sports Network holds-long term broadcast rights to five cricket boards and WWE. It also owns exclusive broadcast rights to the US Open, ATP events, WTA, Ryder Cup, US PGA Championship, European PGA Tour, Asian Tour and the Tour De France.

Ten Sports holds rights to a slew of football properties including the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, I League, Ligue 1, Copa Del Rey, German Cup, Capital One Cup, Sky Bet Football League and A-League.

In November 2013, Star Sports had rebranded its sports network to bring it under one identity. It had named its channels as Star Sports 1, 2, 3, and 4 and Star Sports HD1 and 2. The six-channel network was expanded with two more HD channels, namely Star Sports HD3 and 4. It is planning to launch SD and HD sports channels in Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam.

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