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Our growth-drivers are entertainment, digital and sports: NP Singh, CEO, SPN

24-November-2017
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Our growth-drivers are entertainment, digital and sports: NP Singh, CEO, SPN

NP Singh, CEO of Sony Pictures Networks India, talks of SPN’s growth drivers, pay wall for content, sharing IP and more…

What will be the growth-drivers for the network?
Our growth drivers are Entertainment, Digital and Sports. My clear intent and objective was turning around our flagship channel and we have done well on that with the results now evident. Second was on making SonyLiv a strong OTT platform and a profitable business. Third, our intent was to make our sports network a very strong sports offering for the viewers. With the acquisition of TEN Sports, we have been able to achieve that. So, in all the three growth areas we have made significant investments and we have seen positive returns. Going forward, we will continue to support these. All the investments are moving towards these.

What’s the balance which you would like to achieve in terms of advertising versus subscription revenues?

Healthy will be equal. As an industry, we are still operating at 65:35.

Are Indian audiences willing to pay for content?

A year ago, I had doubts about it. But now if you look at the growth of paying subscribers on digital platforms it clearly indicates that if you have good content which is exclusive to you, people will be ready to pay for it.

You do have paid content, how has it worked?

We have seen growth and it may not be fair to make comparisons as we have just been a year into it.

Talking of the leadership, Danish Khan joined SET a couple of years back, and last year Rajesh Kaul and Neeraj Vyas too got additional responsibilities. How is this panning out?

All the changes that we made in the leadership team have worked well for the network. We have one of the most stable management teams which is highly engaged. Our employee engagement scores are at 81% and we have been declared AON Best Employers as well as a Great Place to Work.

Sidharth Kumar Tewary retains the IP for Porus. Will you consider the same sort of deal with other producers?

It’s not the first time it is happening. I can give you many examples from the past. Almost 10 years ago, we did shows with Yash Raj Films. We evaluate projects and if the producer is willing to risk his/her capital and can back it well creatively, then we can consider an IP share.

If not IP, if a show is successful, would you consider sharing a percentage of syndicated revenues or revenue from repeat telecast with the producer?

The producer should be willing to invest in the project. If he/she is willing to run the risk, then he/she deserves the rewards as well. The reach of FTA channels is undisputed, but do you believe that the rates for FTA will ever be comparable to GEC rates?
The rates will catch up over a period of time. It is still early days for Free to Air channels in the market. It’s only in the last year-and-a-half that we have seen rural viewership getting reported and for the first time we are seeing activity taking place on these channels. But it will take us some more time to get to the level of the mainstream channels.

Tags NP Singh Sony Pictures Network

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