With Sony Pictures Network (SPN) losing out on IPL media rights to Star India, it will be interesting to see how the network will use its coffers to bid aggressively on the BCCI rights next year.
On the other hand through its Rs 2600-crore acquisition of Ten Sports, SPN has got rights to broadcast Team India matches played in West Indies, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Zimbabwe. It has also got rights to the Caribbean Premier League.
"With our recent acquisition of the Ten Sports network, the sports network of Sony Pictures Networks India holds the broadcast rights to five Cricket Boards, guaranteeing that our channels will continue to offer a strong mix of programming for cricket fans,” says a SPN spokesperson.
“I do think that Sony will pump in a lot of money into the BCCI rights bid. These are going to be happy days for BCCI,” said Harish Bijoor, brand strategy expert and founder, Harish BijoorConsults Inc.
Brand expert N Chandramouli, CEO, TRA, felt that there will now be a war for every big game in the country, and that this will also lead to new players becoming prominent contenders for broadcast rights.
Focus on other sports such as football and tennis might sharpen with SPN already having rights of FIFA Under-17 World Cup and Asian Games Australian Open, World Tennis Championship and Commonwealth Games.
The last fortnight has also been tough for SPN’s Hindi GEC Sony Entertainment Television (SET) with its two properties, the controversial ‘Pehredaar Piya Ki’ followed by game-changer comedy show ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’ going off air. But the GEC is not losing hope and is now betting big on its existing and upcoming properties. For instance, on the back of the ninth season of its iconic ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ that returned on August 28, SET is expecting to earn Rs 400 crore in advertising revenue, according to media reports. The show has got 11 sponsors including Vivo, Jio, Ching’s, Datsun, Raymond, Axis Bank, Akash Tutorial, Big Bazaar and Quick Heal. Reliance Jio has reportedly spent close to Rs 100 crore for the deal while ‘powered by’ sponsors Vivo and India’s Capital Foods Pvt. Ltd-owned brand Ching’s Secret have spent Rs 50 crore each. Reports have also mentioned that associate sponsors like Raymond, Datsun, Axis Bank, Aakash Institute, Big Bazaar and Quick Heal have come on board for around Rs10-15 crore each.
The channel is committed to bringing original programming from 7pm to 12midnight on weekdays and from 8pm to 12 midnight on weekends. It has a slew of shows lined up till December starting with dance reality show ‘Super Dancer’ on September 30 at 8pm. The show was a success as its finale got 13.5 million impressions, highest for a non-fiction episode in 2016, as per channel sources. There’s no doubt that the channel will be investing on its second season.
‘Ek Deewana Tha’ (just before KBC ends), ‘Haasil’ and ‘Yeh Unn Dino Ki Baat Hai’ are other properties scheduled in October or November. ‘Haasil’ has already roped in Datsun as a ‘co-powered’ by sponsor. Most importantly it’s placing big bets on its Rs 500-crore magnum opus ‘Porus,’ tentatively scheduled for a November launch. Another expensive property historical drama ‘Prithvi Vallabh’ will air in December.
What needs to be seen is how SPN will work on its strategy to be on top of its game in sports and the Hindi GEC genre in the coming months.
With inputs from Venkata Susmita Biswas.