Would you believe that the sales of TVS Apache bike and Pepsi has gone up considerably since India have started their tour of West Indies..??
Well, its a fact and the only reason for it is that those two commercials zooms into our television sets as soon as an over completes or a wicket goes down or some kind of break happens during India vs West Indies matches these days. Tensports is a sports channel, owned by Taj Tv international and they have worked very smartly to make their mark in in our country India.
Tensports knew that its Indian viewers or cricket fans that virtually run cricket all over the world and they made contracts with Sarjah, Morocco, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and West Indies that whatever cricket happens in those countries, Tensports will have the International telecast rights. Result - Tensports is now available into 48 million household via cable and satellite networks and its the most viewed sports channel for last 4 consecutive months. Knowing the fact that Tensports was only launched in April 2002, isn't that a remarkable achievement..??
During the India's tour of Pakistan in March-April 2004, they first came into picture, where they had the exclusive right of live telecast but ended up messing up the situation when Local cable operators in India refused to include them into their packages when Doordarshan - India's national channel won the case in supreme court and shared the telecast rights with Tensports. Both ODI series and the test series.
Something very similar happened when Indian cricket team again went to Pakistan in January 2006. This time Tensports managed to hold onto their "exclusive" telecast rights of India vs Pakistan test matches but Supreme court ruled them to share the ODI series with Doordarshan as it reaches every part of our country - Rural and Urban. Result - this time again lots of Local cable operators refused to include Tensports into their package. If you see it smartly, they didn't really had to. Doordarshan was doing everything for them so what was wrong in saving some money rather than throwing it away for an alien channel that their viewers rarely ask for..!!
Come May 2006 and Team India went to West Indies... Tensports again had the exclusive telecast rights and they went to Supreme court even before Prasar Bharti does. They asked the panel of judges to deny Doordarshan this time as its India vs West Indies, not India vs Pakistan. And they have been suffering for last two series which they had the exclusive rights of.... This time Supreme court agreed with them and now we all know that Tenports is the only channel which is doing the live telecast of India's tour of West Indies...
Doesn't Tensports sound innocent and hit by Indian politics up till now in this article of mine... I am sure it does but there is little more to story than that -
After getting refused for the first time by Indian local cable operators in 2004, in 2006 series, Tensports came up with a new idea of increasing their package price for any cable operator who wants to include them in their service. They still had the exclusive rights of India vs Pakistan 2006 test series and they did everything they could to increase their viewership in India - at a bigger price.
Moreover, if you know correctly, Tensports is a channel that does comes along with the latest satellite network in India - Dish TV. You get ESPN, Star Sports, Zee Sports and even DD Sports through Dish Tv - which is a direct to home facility to get satellite channels here in our country but not Tensports. They took a chance of letting the Indian cricket spectators find their ways to get Ten sports, by pressing their cable operators to pay more but get ten sports and now when the India vs West Indies series is nearly coming to an end, they have shifted plans...
Now Dish Tv has finally made agreement with Sony-Discovery one Alliance, which means that now Tensports will be available through Dish TV as well... probably from the 2nd India vs West Indies test match or from the 3rd test match.
In my view, Tensports people played their cards very smartly, delayed their alliance with Dish Tv as further as possible, which meant that more and more cable operators joined hands with them. And now when India-West Indies test series is coming to an end and nearly nothing special is going to be live telecasted on tensports - only the US open, they are now making agreements... what do you say..??