Sony rebrands sports business; launches 2 new HD channels – Economic Times

MUMBAI: Television broadcaster Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) on Tuesday announced rebranding of its sports network, which now includes the Ten Sports’ bouquet of channels, and Sachin Tendulkar as the brand ambassador.

It also announced launch of two more HD channels – Sony Ten 2 HD and Sony Ten 3 HD, taking the total number of channels under the sports network to 11.

Earlier this year SPN had acquired the sports business of Zee Entertainment Enterprises (Zee)-housed under Ten Sports umbrella – for $385 million.

“Currently, we are among the largest sports broadcasters in the Indian subcontinent,” said NP Singh, CEO, SPN.

He added that the future of sports is multi-sport. “Therefore, we want to engage viewers in a multi-sports milieu. As SPN’s ambassador for sports, Sachin echoes our sentiment and intent to grow the viewership of different sports.”

In the new portfolio, Sony Six and Sony Six HD will air cricket content, while Sony Ten 1 and Sony Ten 1 HD will have all the wrestling entertainment like WWE and Impact. Sony Ten 2 (and Sony Ten 2 HD) will have football content, while Sony Ten 3 (and HD) will have Hindi feed of best of sports.

Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD will have major international sports, while Sony Ten Golf HD will have all the golf action.

Rajesh Kaul, president, Sports and Distribution, SPN, said, “We are in a unique position with over 11000 hours of live content this year that has given us the opportunity to create channel destinations for different sports. Each of our 11 channels will project a distinct content line-up from our portfolio of domestic and national sporting properties.”

Kaul also shared that in 2017 from January till July, SPN sports cluster had a combined viewership share of 55%, whereas rival Star Sports network had 35%. Remaining 10% was with other sports channels including Neo and DSPORT.

Talking about his association with SPN as its ambassador for sports, Tendulkar added, “Among the many things that sports has taught me, is the ability to push the boundaries and raise the bar by stretching myself beyond my limits. And, as in sports so in life. Even when one has reached the pinnacle of success, the learning never stops. In direct and indirect ways, sports trains you to continuously become a better version of yourself. I shall always remain a student of sports because for me, sports inspires life. It is a privilege to associate with Sony Pictures Networks to curate a culture of multi-sport viewing in the Indian subcontinent. As SPN’s Ambassador for Sports, I am going to personally call out for this change.”

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