Sony launches new sports channel in Tamil and Telugu

Rajesh Kaul, SPSN’s India Sports Business Head, stressed that channels — SD and HD — dedicated to Tamil and Telugu fans was natural considering their reach.

Rajesh Kaul stressed that Sony was the “pioneer” of broadcasting sports in regional language.   -  Special Arrangement

An increasing consumption of sports content in local languages has led to Sony Pictures Sports Networks (SPSN) launching an exclusive channel in Tamil and Telugu ahead of what is set to be a blockbuster season for the broadcaster.

Rajesh Kaul, SPSN’s India Sports Business Head, stressed that channels — SD and HD — dedicated to Tamil and Telugu fans was natural considering their reach.

“Tamil and Telugu are the biggest two regional markets in the country. They contribute huge to the overall numbers. Overall regional content consumption in these two states is roughly around 80 per cent, be it sport, non-sport, GEC, movies. So we thought we would launch a dedicated 24-hour sports channel for Tamil and Telugu,” Kaul told Sportstar on Tuesday after the launch of Sony Ten 4, 10 days ahead of Euro 2020.

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“We have realised that we get a particular traction and people are more comfortable watching their favourite sport in the language they are more comfortable with.”

Kaul stressed that Sony was the “pioneer” of broadcasting sports in regional languages, “starting with IPL in Hindi” when it was the broadcaster of the T20 league. He was optimistic that regional language sports channes would attract localised advertisements. Actor Rana Daggubati is the face of the new channel.

“Since we had one single feed up till now, it was difficult for us (to monetise regional sports content). Now that we have launched Ten 4 today, we are hopeful that we can start with it. We have already got some response from local advertisers. I definitely feel there’s a very interesting story,” he said.

SPSN will hope to cash in on its tempting portfolio for the remaining year. In India, it will broadcast the Euro 2020 and Copa America in June-July, followed by India’s cricket tour to Sri Lanka in July, the Olympics in July-August, India’s Test series in England and the Ashes towards the year-end.

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