ESPN hopes to hit the target with English Premier League soccer

Sports in India means cricket, cricket, and only cricket. To the world at large however there is far more to sport and that is what ESPN is attempting to bring to the notice of the Indian viewer. Come 18 August, ESPN kicks off an ambitious programming initiative built around the world's most popular sport - soccer.

The centrepiece of the thrust is the pan-Asia telecast rights ESPN Star Sports has acquired for the English Premier League (EPL). And in keeping with the current thinking among television strategists, appointment viewing is what ESPN hopes to garner in this no-expenses spared soccer-centric programme push.

Speaking at a press briefing in south Mumbai yesterday, Manu Sawhney, managing director, ESPN India, outlined four thrust areas which would be utilised to push the property in India. Multimedia - print, television and online activities; contests, live screenings in clubs, and school campaigns. Sawhney said the various promotional activities would be rolled out over the coming two months and expressed confidence that there was a market just waiting to be tapped on the soccer viewing front. He identified the big cities and the states of Kerala, Goa and West Bengal as primary focus areas.

Pepsi, Samsung, Madura Garments were the three principal advertisers for EPL and had signed one-year deals, Sawhney said. Questioned on whether the soccer initiative was a joint one with Star Sports, he said this was essentially ESPN's baby.

On the programming front ESPN is set to showcase three live games a week on prime time - one on Saturday and two on Sundays. The network also will telecast one additional game every Saturday (deferred relay), one additional Manchester United game and football-related magazine-style programmes, through the week .

And the backend efforts that go into getting a real "close-up and personal" fell of the goings-on on the pitch is quite amazing, going by the information put out by ESPN (no costing figures though). A total of 130 crew on-ground and at studio are involved. A fleet of ten trucks and support vehicles, with standby power generators. Twenty-five cameras are used for each game with that number going up to 35 for a finals fixture. For the audio 20 directional microphones are deployed.

Queried on what other properties ESPN was focussing on other than cricket and now soccer, an ESPN official said Formula One car racing, sports news and quiz-based shows had a lot of potential for development. Actions

Latest Reads
Binge on your favourite movies with 'Anthology Weekends' on MNX

Mumbai: When it comes to movies, we all have our favourites we love to binge watch! Offering its viewers their favorite movie franchise, MNX, the new age Hollywood channel for Young India from Times Network, presents a series of cult classics titled ‘Anthology Weekends’, every weekend, until March...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
Make your snack time a lip-smacking affair with Chef Shipra Khanna

Crack the code to snacking this February as premium lifestyle channel Living Foodz is set to launch ‘Snack in the Box’ with Chef Shipra Khanna. Starting February 26, the show marks Chef Shipra’s debut on the channel and will unravel snack recipes with a twist!

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Four Star India channels again among top 10 in across genre list

Four channels from Star India once again made it to Broadcast Audience Research Council’s (BARC) weekly list of top 10 channels across genres (all India – U+R: 2+ individuals) for week 7 of 2018 (Saturday, 10 February 2018 to Friday, 16 February 2018). The four channels with their ranks in week...

Television TV Channels Viewership
Star Plus third in urban market: BARC week 7

Star Bharat emerged as the leader in the Hindi GEC (U+R) region and Zee Anmol shifted to second slot, according to Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) all India data for week 7 of 2018.

Television TV Channels Viewership
Volleyball Federation of India announces partnership with Baseline Ventures

The Volleyball Federation of India (VFI) has announced a ten year partnership with sports marketing and branding firm Baseline Ventures to promote and build Indian volleyball.

Television TV Channels Sports
Eros Intl’s Deshpande hints at group rejig, likens RIL tieup to ‘blank canvas’

The Eros group, which includes an India-listed company with the parent Eros International plc. listed on NYSE, will soon start the process of simplifying the organisational structure to realign shareholders interest after an announcement that Reliance Industries Ltd. would be investing in the...

Television Production House Film Production
Discovery Jeet postpones 2 show launches to late March

The newly launched general entertainment channel, Discovery Jeet has planned to halt the launch of two yet to be released shows Gabru – Hip Hop Ke Shehzaade and Man Vs Wild with Sunny Leone.

Television TV Channels GECs
Star India bags 5 new advertisers for IPL 2018

MUMBAI: Star India is building up on its advertiser list for IPL 2018 with the announcement of five new brand additions, taking its total portfolio to 16. New names include Colgate, Amul, MakeMyTrip, Parle Products and Vu TV.

Television TV Channels Sports
Animation sees an uptick despite expensive production

MUMBAI: When it comes to popular content on TV in India, general entertainment channels (GEC) lead the way. Primetime shows are most watched, most-earning and most talked about since the early years of the saas-bahu serials. Animation as a genre is sidelined to the kids’ channels but producing it...

Television TV Channels Kids

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories