Sony Pictures looks beyond cricket, bets big on sporting cluster

Bindu D Menon | | Updated on: Jan 20, 2018

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With its sports cluster attracting both advertisers and viewers, Sony Pictures Network said it may look at airing regional leagues to cater to the sporting appetite in smaller towns and cities.

The company said it was in early discussions to broadcast regional sporting events to localise the content and to widen its horizon with a multi-sport cluster content.

“We went aggressive on sports as a genre since 2012. There is a fan base for regional tournaments and we may look at monetisation opportunities,” Prasana Krishnan, Executive Vice-President and Business Head, Sports Cluster, Sony Pictures Network, told BusinessLine .

The company said its aim was to explore sports beyond cricket and it plans to have a year-long programming content with a multi-sport clusters.

Sony had recorded a viewership of 347 million for the ninth edition of Indian Premier League which concluded last month.

“In the last three years, leagues have changes the way sports is being consumed in India. Sports like wrestling, kabbadi etc., have expanded our viewer base to smaller towns and cities. Going forward, we will give immense thrust on football, tennis contact sports and basketball and futsal, among others,” he added.

In addition to IPL, Sony has broadcast rights of LaLiga, Serie A, UEFA Euro 2016, Copa America Centenario, 2018 FIFA World Cup, exclusive broadcast rights of Premier Futsal, ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event, The Champions Tennis League, TNA Impact Wrestling and the Ultimate Fighting Championship. It had also backed World Kabaddi League, Champions Tennis League and the Pro Wrestling League.

Last week, the company acquired the digital and broadcast right of third Indian Open World Ranking Snooker tournament.

Krishnan said interestingly football matches such as UEFA Euro 2016 had attracted as many as 35 advertisers.

“It is in the same league as cricket. We believe advertisers are keen to put their money wherever there is a viewership base,” he added.

Asked if the company is looking the linear medium or even the digital, Krishnan said the company was betting big not just on television but also on digital platform. “Digital changing the way people are consuming content. Digital is a key focus area for us”, he added.

Published on June 20, 2016
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