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India, News, sports, Stories

Sportstar relaunches itself digitally: What’s the future?


Sportstar magazine launched its new digital version sportstarlive.com on October 25 at the Madras Cricket Club.

The previous site was sportstaronnet.com where editions until October 24 are still available.

Eminent sportspersons present at the inauguration were  Ramanathan Krishnan, S. Venkatraghavan , Pankaj Advani, Sardar Singh and  Joshna Chinappa.

The other notable luminaries present included Ayon Sengupta, Editor,Sportstar and  N. Ram, chairman, Kasturi & Sons Limited.

The Sportstar is one of only two all-sports print magazines in the country.

The other is Sports Illustrated India.

Other Indian sports magazines that have since become defunct include Sportsweek and Sportsworld.

Sportsworld was started in 1983. Its first editor was Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi. It downed shutters in the 1990s.

Sportsweek magazine closed shop in 1989. It was founded in 1968.

Clayton Murzello writes of Sportsweek, 25 years on:

“In pre-satellite television days, these magazines helped popularise the game immensely. In the early 1970s, Sportsweek ‘covered’ some of their issues with the latest update on Test matches featuring India. And as any collector will tell you, those issues are priceless. In the mid-1980s, a famous actor-cum-passionate sports fan visited my home to borrow a book, which had a collection of sports articles that included an extract from Jesse Owens’ autobiography My Life as Black Man and White Man. He asked if he could see my modest collection and among the few bound volumes of Sportsweek, he spotted the one that contained issues of India’s 1971 triumph in the West Indies. He asked if he could have that volume. I politely refused.”

He adds:

“Sportsweek’s popularity with sportspersons was constant. Long before cricketers received huge cheques, Sportsweek sponsored the man-of-the-match awards. Big cricket stars endorsed the magazine. And Farokh Engineer used to say in a radio commercial, ‘I am Farokh Engineer. I read Sportsweek. Do you?’ “

Sportstar is a weekly sports magazine and one of the sister publications of the daily The Hindu.  Its operations are based in Chennai.

CNNSI logo used from 1996 to 2001.

CNNSI logo used from 1996 to 2001. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Illustrated India is a recent entrant to the magazine business in India.

The first edition was published in October 2009.

It is Sportstar’s only significant competition.

Can these magazines survive in the cut-throat environment of print publishing?

Or will they too slowly become defunct or solely online publications?

Isn’t there a story here? A well-researched one?

Methinks, there will always be space for good quality, well-thought out articles on sports.

What about you?

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About LINUS FERNANDES

I have been an IT professional with over 12 years professional experience. I'm an B.Sc. in Statistics, M.Sc in Computer Science (University of Mumbai) and an MBA from the Cyprus International Institute of Management. I'm also a finance student and have completed levels I and II of the CFA course. Blogging is a part-time vocation until I land a full-time position. I am also the author of three books, Those Glory Days: Cricket World Cup 2011, Best of Googli Hoogli and Poems: An Anthology, all available on Amazon Worldwide.

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