Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), in collaboration with ESPN, has announced the launch of its two new channels, SONY ESPN and SONY ESPN HD; which will go live on 17 January 2016. With this, SPN has expanded its sports cluster to four channels - SONY ESPN, SONY ESPN HD, Sony SIX and Sony SIX HD.
Moreover, the launch of these new channels represents the first steps in the innovative collaboration between SPN and ESPN to power unmatched content, across both, television and digital platforms.
The SONY ESPN channels will kick-off their sporting calendar with the live broadcast of the first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open. Later this year, the collaboration between SPN and ESPN will also see the launch of a new multisport digital website and App that will complement the SONY ESPN channels, as well as the existing leadership of ESPNcricinfo and Sony LIV’s digital offerings.
SPN and ESPN are also looking at developing ESPNcricinfo programming in the coming months around major cricket events and to complement cricket coverage on the SONY ESPN and SONY SIX channels.
NP Singh, Chief Executive Officer, Sony Pictures Networks India, said, “As a network, SPN is focused on becoming the first choice in television and digital entertainment. Our collaboration with ESPN is a targeted step in that direction as it helps us ink another milestone in our growth trajectory. Not only that, the launch of the SONY ESPN cluster of channels validates our intent to provide stylized, high-quality and insightful international sporting content to viewers in India and across the Indian subcontinent.”
Prasana Krishnan, EVP & Business Head, Sports Cluster, Sony Pictures Networks India, said, “ESPN has always had a strong connect with Indian audiences. Our partnership with ESPN will further strengthen our Sports bouquet with four channels SONY ESPN, SONY ESPN HD, Sony SIX and Sony SIX HD. Our programming line-up starts with the Australian Open followed by marquee football properties like Liga BBVA, Serie A TIM and FA CUP leading to UEFA EURO 2016 will give every sports fan a reason to celebrate our extensive offering clubbed with analysis presented by expert panelists.”
Mike Morrison, Vice President and General Manager, ESPN Asia Pacific, said, “For more than 35 years, ESPN has been known for its quality, personality and authority. The launch of these channels, and the complimentary digital properties in the months ahead, creates a world-class multi-media stage on which the combined expertise and resources of our two companies can deliver amazing content and products to Indian fans.”
Ramesh Kumar, Vice President, ESPN India and South Asia, said, “This launch is a great day for Indian sports fans. The launch of SONY ESPN and SONY ESPN HD channels is a first step as part of our collaboration with SPN, coming at a time when the sports media landscape in India is expanding and consumers demand for quality content is on the rise. We’re thrilled to be working with the team at SPN and look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.”
The programming line-up on Sony ESPN channels includes UEFA Euro 2016, 2018 FIFA World Cup La Liga BBVA, Serie A TIM, Emirates FA Cup, UEFA European Qualifiers for 2018 WC, FIFA Futsal World Cup 2016, Australian Open, Hopman Cup, Mubadala World Tennis Championship, Champions Tennis League, UFC, NFL, ATP 1000, ATP 500, ATP 250 and ATP World Tour Finals.