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Star Sports, Hotstar up the ante on Rio 2016 Olympics coverage; dedicate 8 channels on 24*7 basis

Star Sports, Hotstar up the ante on Rio 2016 Olympics coverage; dedicate 8 channels on 24*7 basis

Author | Sarmistha Neogy | Friday, Jun 17,2016 8:02 AM

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Star Sports, Hotstar up the ante on Rio 2016 Olympics coverage; dedicate 8 channels on 24*7 basis

Star Sports, the official broadcaster of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games has planned a comprehensive coverage of the event, by dedicating eight channels (Star Sports 1, 2, 3, 4 and Star Sports HD1, HD2, HD3, HD4) on a 24*7 basis. The content will be broadcasted in two languages - English and Hindi.  As the 50-day countdown to the biggest sporting event kickstarts, the channel has also launched their campaign ‘Isse Bada Kuch Nahi which has already gone live on air as well as on the digital platform.

Commenting on the coverage, Nitin Kukreja, CEO, Star Sports said, “There will be a disproportionate focus on where the Indian athletes are and where we have metal hopes- like archery, shooting, boxing, badminton etc. We will be giving full justice to these events and wherever there is an Indian athlete participating. From television perspective, we will be curating it in a manner, what the Indian fans want. This will get further supplemented with what Hotstar is doing, where we are not missing out on any Olympics moment.”

Nitin Kukreja and Ajit Mohan, CEO, Hotstar reveal how the respective platforms will be promoting 2016 Olympics, the advertisers on board and their marketing strategies for the event. Kukreja further spoke on his expectation from the current season of Pro Kabaddi League which will begin on June 25.

What is the key proposition which Hotstar is bringing to the table for the Olympics coverage?

Mohan: Other than supplementing Star Sports, we will be covering the event with 14 live feeds round the clock and can also go up to 36 concurrent feeds at peak on the Olympics video player. The entire idea is to ensure that viewers don’t miss a single moment. We will be focusing on customer experience, personalisation and providing viewers an interactive experience.

What is the name of the agency which has conceptualised the campaign for Olympics?

Kukreja: Saints & Warriors and the marketing team of Star Sports have conceptualised and implemented the campaign.

How will you be promoting the campaigns and how many films are there in total?

Kukreja: Right now we have one main campaign and there are few shorter edits. We will keep on amplifying it, as we progress. Talking about the brief, it was something that will truly manifest the grand stature of Olympics and the fact that it is every athlete’s dream.

Mohan: Closer to the Olympics, we may consider communicating to the audience, the proposition which is unique to Hotstar, like the multiplicity of feeds.

Have you locked any advertisers till now? Can you name them?

Kukreja: We don’t sell inventory per se, we sell association with the particular event, and to that extent it is always going to be a limited finite advertisers who are going to come, probably in single digits. We have already locked up few advertisers and we are in very advanced stages of being in conversation with others. I want put a number or an identity to the number of advertisers; you will see them on air pretty soon.

Mohan: A lot of the advertisers, with whom we are in conversation with, they know, that it is compelling to be visible across screens.

What kind of response are you expecting from Pro Kabaddi League Season 4, which is about to start soon?

Kukreja: I think Kabaddi has just been a revelation which has grown from season to season.  Two years, back, no one would have given Kabaddi any hope; pretty much everyone was a cynic and asking us why we were doing it. Once again, we showed that this country is ready to take on more and more sport. Today, as we are on the cusp of Season 4; we expect the viewership to soar this season as well.

Can you share few numbers to indicate how well this sport has been received in India?

Kukreja: From Pro Kabaddi Season 1 to 2, the viewership has grown by 20%; and from Season 2 to 3, it has risen by another 30%. It has already established a firm footing in terms of where we are in viewership and we believe that this sport has a long way to go. The more we dig below the surface, we are ourselves pleasantly surprised in terms of how this sport is being perceived. It cuts across audiences and it will no longer be considered to be a rural sport. The best part is the urban audiences love it as much as the rural audience and even the kids have developed a fondness for the sport. It is manifested in the fact that a lot of our sponsors come back for renewals.

Are you adding any element of freshness in this season to avoid viewer fatigue?

Kukreja: The teams have already been rejigged; they went into auction this time around. So there will a fresh player pool. There are some other elements as well, which we will keep it till the tournament starts. 

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