Tennis fans slam broadcaster's Australian Open 'farce'

Key matches between strong players are being shown only on HD channels leaving a majority of fans - with only regular channels on their television sets - fuming.

updated: January 21, 2014 12:21 IST
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If you are a tennis fan in India, chances are that you did not watch World No 1 Rafael Nadal overcoming Japanese Kei Nishikori's spirited challenge in the pre-quarter-finals of the Australian Open yesterday.

That's because Star Sports, the biggest sports broadcaster on Indian television, chose to show the match on one of their HD channels, which is only available at an additional price to the viewer, while showing Rohan Bopanna and Katarina Srebotnik's pre-quarter final win over Ashleigh Barty and John Peers on one of their standard definition channels (Star Sports 4).

Meanwhile, the other three standard definition channels at Star Sports' disposal showed cricket programming like Believe 2013, Switch Hit (Star Sports 1) and Ranji Trophy semi-final matches (Star Sports 2 & Star Sports 3).

On Sunday too, tennis fans in India were left disappointed after being unable to watch Serena Williams' shocking 6-4, 3-6, 3-6 loss to Ana Ivanovic as the match was broadcast only on a HD channel. Star Sports 4, Star Sports' primary channel for sports other than cricket, ran with the Mumbai Marathon.

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