Over the past few days, all of ESPNStar network channels (Star Sports, Star Sports 2, ESPN, Star Cricket, ESPN HD and Star Cricket HD) are sporting an animated logo counting down the days for their change. But what is actually up on the cards?
This change, scheduled on November 6, comes at the wake of two important occasions – Sachin Tendulkar’s last test series and Fox Network acquiring ESPN. The first has very little link with the rebranding, but it is definite that ESPN Star wants to make this rebranding on a bigger day.
There are three different speculations on what will be the change. The first one being the least possible – A tribute to Sachin. Star to rename its 24/7 Cricket channel Star Cricket as Star Sachin! But this is highly unlikely, though one such move will be a fitting tribute to the master blaster.
The second speculation is all about Fox! ESPN and ESPN HD to be renamed as Fox Sports and Fox Sports HD. This is looking convincing but yet there is only a 50-50 chance here.
And third and final speculation has the best possibility overall. Unification of all brands under a single name. ESPN and Star Cricket might be renamed as Star Sports 3 and Star Sports 4. Similarly their corresponding HD channels will be renamed as Star Sports HD and Star Sports 2 HD.
ESPN Star has made their strong online presence with the name StarSports.com which meant unification was always on the cards. Also having a seperate 24/7 Cricket channel isn’t required (atleast as of now). We have already seen Star Cricket being used for other live broadcasts like the Indian Badminton Legue.
UPDATE: ESPN Star placed in-stadium advertisements in the last ODI of the India – Australia series that read as “Revolutionizing Sports on Nov 6”. Television commercials are also being broadcast under the same tag.