You will see spikes in marketing of 'Turn and Bounce’ throughout the year: Jasdeep Pannu

ESPNcricinfo with a new look and app now ups it ante with a new TV show called ‘Turn and Bounce’ featuring popular TV anchor Cyrus Broacha and well-known cricketers, Gautam Gambhir, Brad Hogg, Shaun Tait and Mark Butcher to name a few

e4m by Madhuwanti Saha
Published: Jul 24, 2017 8:10 AM  | 5 min read

After raising its game with a new designed website and app, ESPNcricinfo has now debuted on television with a weekly television cricket show called ‘Turn and Bounce’ on July 22. Aired on Sony SIX/Sony SIX HD channels, and digitally on SonyLIV app and website and on Saturdays at 10 pm, it presents cricket highlights, global news, trends, unique insights and analysis from experts. 


Hosted by ESPN talent Raunak Kapoor and renowned anchor Cyrus Broacha, the show features acclaimed cricketers, Gautam Gambhir, Brad Hogg, Mark Butcher, Ajit Agarkar and Shaun Tait, among others. Promising it to be snappy and relevant, Jasdeep Pannu, Head of ESPN India Television Initiatives, says, “‘Turn and Bounce’ provides consumers with a larger picture on cricket every week. There is no such show which does it so comprehensively in a high quality fashion that I know of.”


Given the humongous ratings of IPL on Sony MAX it’s evident that this sports website wanted to cash in on the television medium. Pannu admits, “Like everyone we are excited about digital but a large number of viewers exist on television who are consuming live sports and have access to it. You can't ignore that. It offers additional opportunity for us to increase our consumer base and engage more users in greater ways.”


Pannu shares how they are leveraging their digital platform, “Because we are producing the show it gives us the opportunity to generate fresh content even on digital platform. Small interesting bits from the show will be clipped and used on our digital stories as well.”


But with so many upcoming cricket tournaments (including India-West Indies, India-Sri Lanka and India- South Africa series) is there a need for an analytic show like ‘Turn and Bounce’? Pannu clears that doubt as he says, “Today cricket fans lack this kind of show on a weekly basis. Sometimes they are unable to follow the actual game due to their busy schedules. As a result, shows navigating around cricket are becoming increasingly important now. That’s the need-gap we are addressing. In fact this was informed by a consumer research that we commissioned in the past. It is one thing to watch Virat Kohli score 100 on the field and it's another to understand how he does it. There are so many things that enrich the viewing experience like behind-the-scene stories and the team dynamics.”  


Pitched as a premium property ‘Turn and Bounce’ targets cricket lovers between 18 and 35 age group, who are mostly the affluent male groups across metros and second-tier towns. Pannu informs that there is a growing interest in second-tier towns due to new formats. “Viewership is emerging from small towns where people not only watch and follow the game but also want more information.”


He points out that this is an attractive proposition to advertisers. He explains, “They know they are addressing the right audience for their product.”

ESPNcricinfo’s existing infrastructure (read reporters across the world dedicated to covering cricket, long-standing relationships with cricket experts among others, team digging out statistical insights and production teams), access and their expertise has made it possible for the portal to put together such a comprehensive weekly show and at the same time gives them a competitive edge. A confident Pannu adds, “If anybody else got to do the show it would cost them four times as much.”


Pannu doesn’t rule out possibilities of expansion, saying, “ESPNcricinfo is committed on delivering excellent content across multiple platforms on its brand and partner brands. Once we deliver on that promise of relevant and fresh content it opens up the possibility of expansion. Today's it's a cricket show. Tomorrow we might be doing other format shows. This is collaborative start, which is going to lead to many other things once it succeeds.”


Since it’s a perennial property sponsorship doesn’t happen to be on Pannu’s priority list right away. “Our focus area right now is to ensure our consumers are delighted with our product. Advertisers will follow. That has been our experience in the past. We will demonstrate the value that the show brings.”

He adds, “We are going to look at the entire value proposition and then bring the sponsor on board who has value. Ultimately we have to delight the advertiser as well. That will come from great quality content and happy consumers.” 


The show is cross marketed across ESPN Cricinfo, all channels of Sony Pictures Network and OTT platform Sony LIV. Pannu mentions of innovating with a rap song based on the theme of the show for which they have roped in a Los Angeles-based rap artist. “We are hoping to use this with lots of media partners and give it some air time so it becomes popular as the theme. The song talks about the various aspects of cricket and understanding those through ‘Turn and Bounce’. It’s an innovative way through which we are promoting cricket.” 


There will be aggressive promotions over the next four weeks. Pannu adds, “Over the next four to eight weeks 50 per cent of our resources will be dedicated to promoting the show. After that we will continue to sustain it. From time to time we will get interesting guests depending on the current affairs in the cricket world. We are going to promote that every time. You will see spikes in marketing of the show throughout the year.” 


With SPSN now having 11 channels dedicated to sports, Pannu who is a veteran in the sports broadcast network, feels that it’s a great time to be a sports fan. “You are getting multiple sports and a great quality of coverage in cricket. It's a good time to be a consumer,” he says.

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