Multi Screen Media Pvt. Ltd (MSM), which operates Sony channels in India, and US-based sports broadcaster ESPN Inc. will jointly launch new sports channels, a multi-sports website and a mobile app in India, among several other initiatives planned under a long-term agreement announced on Wednesday
According to N.P. Singh, chief executive, Multi Screen Media, 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 programmes,” he said in a statement.
Sony is the official broadcaster of popular T20 tournament Indian Premier League till 2017.
The deal with ESPN will include the launch of a co-branded television channel—SONY ESPN—along with other new channels to be launched in the coming months. In collaboration with MSM, ESPN will launch a co-branded localised multisport website and mobile app, which will provide coverage of cricket, football, tennis, the National Basketball Association (NBA), badminton, field hockey among others. Sony’s existing sports portfolio includes three channels: Sony Six, Sony Kix and Sony Six HD.
According to the company, components of the collaboration require regulatory approvals, for which the process is currently underway.