Multi Screen Media (MSM) and ESPN have come together in a long-term agreement to serve sports fans in India and across the Indian subcontinent. Through the collaboration they will bring new offerings to Indian sports fans including new SONY ESPN sports channels and anew multisport website and app. This collaboration between two of the most respected brands in Indian media and sports will provide a powerful portfolio of sports rights and the leading collection of digital sports assets in India.
MSM’s existing Sony KIX sports channel will be rebranded SONY ESPN and the two companies will launch other new channels in the coming months. Along with SONY SIX, all the channels will deliver a powerful sports lineup to sports fans.
In collaboration with MSM, ESPN will launch a co-branded localized multisport website and app, which will provide coverage of cricket, football, tennis, the NBA, badminton, field hockey and more. MSM’s SONY LIV will also benefit from the collaboration, increasing its current sports offerings significantly. ESPN cricinfo, the number one digital cricket destination in India and globally, will continue to deliver comprehensive coverage and will complement and cross-promote the new digital properties and sports channels.
Among the new co-branded multisport website, sonyliv.com and espncricinfo.com, sports fan will receive sports content from across categories, geographies and time zones.
There will be a robust social media presence for the new co-branded media platforms and, an online programming guide for television.
Components of the collaboration require regulatory approvals, for which the process is currently underway.
NP Singh, CEO, Multi Screen Media (MSM), said, “Our partnership with ESPN is just what the sports aficionado has been waiting for. Stylized, insightful sports content presented by the best sportscasters in the business. For consumers in India and the subcontinent, sports television viewing will change dramatically since they will soon have access not only to more content but also the widest array of sports lineup, ever available.”
“MSM’s association with ESPN is holistic and embraces both television and digital formats. Not only are we about to set the frontiers in sports content and distribution but we will most likely set the trends as well. Going further, both companies will also explore collaboration on the development of other original sports programs,” he added.
Russell Wolff, Executive Vice-president and Managing Director, ESPN international, said, “ESPN’s focus around the world is simple: to serve sports fans. This exciting, long-term collaboration between ESPN and MSM will serve Indian sports fans with exceptional products, content and coverage through the combined strengths and expertise of our two companies, which each have a strong heritage of leadership and innovation in India. We are very excited to be working with Sony, one of the leading television channels in India, on the opportunities that lie ahead.”
MSM’s current sports rights portfolio in India includes the UEFA Euro 2016, top European football leagues (including La Liga, The FA Cup and Serie A), the NBA, the NFL, the IRB Rugby World Cup, UFC, TNA Wrestling, NASCAR and more.
ESPN will add to that by delivering more than 1000 hours of programming per year from its portfolio of sports rights, original programming and studio programs. Live sports content in the deal includes major U.S. college football (including the College Football Playoff and comprehensive coverage of the college football bowl season); major U.S. college basketball (including the March Madness® NCAA Championship Tournaments); NCAA college sport championships from baseball, softball, lacrosse, soccer; Boxing (including Premier Boxing Champions and ESPN’s Big Fights Library); X Games; ESPN Films Emmy-Award Winning 30 For 30 documentaries and more.