Following the launch of MSM’s Sony Kix, Prasana Krishnan, Business Head, Sony Six and Sony Kix gives us a peak into what the channel will be about.
How will Sony Kix be differently positioned from Sony Six?
I am treating both as all sports channels. I am not necessarily going to say that a particular property will not figure in this or not, we are operating it as a sports network. Having said that Kix is being given a level of positioning in terms of football and fight sports, more football-centric and to some extent we will also get into the fight sports arena. That is where all the differentiation is going to increasingly come in. So all the big events wherever we go multi-lingual which are BCCI or FIFA kind of events, both the channels will be carrying it. But beyond that we are trying to give it more of a football flavour because it’s an area which we believe in and we have been anyway working on. The matches that I also have in football are very high as the number of international events that we cover, so that is where Kix is going to supplement and complement what we are trying to do at the network.
Tell us about the multi language feeds that Sony Kix will be carrying?
We are taking the Tamil and Telugu feeds on Sony Kix. It will also have an English feed but the primary thrust is going to be in the southern markets. If you want to watch it (in other cities) for instance in Tamil, the choice will be on DTH or digital cable. Traditionally cricket coverage has been confined to English and Hindi, the southern markets have never had an option of viewing it in their local languages. It has always been force fed to them. So we are trying to break that mould and trying to provide more options for them. We are evaluating the numbers all the time to see what is working and not.
What are the events that will be overlapping as you stated earlier?
Pretty much all major football events overlap. When you see FIFA or UEFA during the last rounds there are always multiple matches at the same time. When you look at Euro Qualifiers there are also multiple matches at the same time. This is on the same sport itself. If you look at Grand Slam or an Australian Open kind of event there are multiple matches at the same time. We have been constrained to provide only the main match. There always is a great benefit when having multiple feeds. For example in basketball, NBA is my mainstay on the morning band, however whenever there is a live UFC match or a boxing match which takes places in the US it clashes with NBA. So at every stage we were having to make a compromise. Scheduling conflicts is a reality of sports, ultimately because my telecast is driven by live (events). It is not the same experience if I say that I will come back and give you the event after three hours. Since we have gone this route of providing alternate sports and developing consumer experience on that, it is imperative for us to have additional channels so that the viewer gets a choice.
Will there be more acquisitions now with the new sports channel? What properties are you looking to acquire?
Acquisitions will be more tactical. It is not that just because there is a new channel that we will acquire hundreds of hours of content. The base content I already have. All the properties that I have are more than enough content to fit into two channels. Obviously we will continue to look at when specific opportunities come in.
Will ad inventory be packaged together for both channels for all sports properties?
When there is a simulcast of a particular event it will go as a package. The capability of selling separate ads always exist, you can always do that. It is only a question of where we want to do it and where we don’t want to do it. Currently in the IPL we have done it as a simulcast. Now changing the decision and doing it (ad inventory) separately is an easy one.