Television

What the MSM-ESPN deal means

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2015/10/07/Untitled-1_30.jpg?itok=mUBA0pR_

MUMBAI: When the enemy looks extremely threatening, you bring in allies to help you do battle. And if your ally is a friend-turned-foe of your enemy, it makes the war that much more interesting. And combative.

We are referring to what’s about to happen in the Indian sports television ecosystem. Multi Screen Media India (Sony Entertainment Television India) has struck a deal with the US-based mega sportscaster ESPN Inc under which it will be helping bring in the brand once again into the country as its partner. 

ESPN was Star TV’s former mate in Asia until 2012 wherein they ran and distributed channels in several Asian countries jointly including in India.

The current MSM-ESPN agreement is for the long term and will be for India and the Indian sub-continent. The joint venture will see new co-branded sports channels, a multisport website and an app rolling out over the next few months. The companies will also be working together to develop original sports programs, something which has been sorely lacking in India, with the exception of a couple of them on Star India’s sports channels.



 

As a first step of the union, MSM’s sports channel Sony Kix is being rebranded as Sony ESPN.

It’s interesting that the two are exchanging vows at the time they are.

The IPL bids are slated to take place next year and the buzz is that Star India is likely to take the bidding to close to the $4 billion mark for all rights. With Sony-ESPN combining their resources and putting up a common front, they are quite likely to put up a stiff fight against Star India. (Others who could throw in a bid include Zee Telefilms and Discovery’s Eurosport). And not just at the IPL auctions but also for all the other sports rights when they come up for renewal.

“However,” a high ranking Sony International Television executive told Indiantelevision.com, “there is no way pricing for the IPL could go up four times. A multiplier of two times or three times over the previous bid is conceivable but above that will make it a big losing proposition.”

What’s also of interest is how Disney is shaping its presence in India. Its family entertainment initiatives got a leg up when it invested in acquiring Ronnie Screwvala’s UTV a few years ago. This deal gave it access to UTV Motion Pictures as well as channels such as Bindass and Hungama.

Disney India recently severed its distribution alliance with IndiaCast Media – part of Viacom18 and has been reaching out to satellite and cable TV platforms to strike deals with them directly.

Now with Disney’s sports offshoot ESPN partnering with MSM, one will have to see whether the latter’s distribution arm MSM Media Distribution resources will be used to shore up the efforts of the distribution team at Disney India. Or will the two work totally independently?

Sports programming in India is likely to also get a shot in the arm. ESPN is renowned for its studio-based shows and live coverage of events. Live sports content in the deal includes major US college football (including the College Football Playoff and comprehensive coverage of the college football bowl season); major US college basketball (including the March Madness NCAA Championship Tournaments); NCAA college sport championships from baseball, softball, lacrosse, soccer; Boxing (including Premier Boxing Champions and ESPN’s Big Fights Library); X Games; ESPN Films Emmy-Award Winning 30 For 30 documentaries amongst others.

What’s also relevant is the fact that both ESPN and MSM are going hell for leather after digital content properties too. The duo has its eyes on developing a co-branded localized multi-sport website and app, which will provide coverage of cricket, football, tennis, the NBA, badminton, field hockey and more. The sports content – both video and text – will be delivered on MSM’s OTT platform Sony Liv, and sonyliv.com as well as highly popular cricket portal espncricinfo.com.  

Each of these websites, television channels and OTT platforms will be used to cross promote each other, giving it tremendous marketing heft.  Additionally, their social media presence is to be beefed up in order to give sports lovers a destination to engage with each other and with their sports stars.

 

 

The whole in this case is going to be greater than the sum of the two parts. With the entry of a rejuvenated ESPN into India, the entire sports broadcasting ecosystem is likely to see rapid improvements as more money will be pumped in by both Star and the American sportscaster along with MSM.

And this is going to be a win-win for the various administrations, associations, players and professionals,   team owners, and vendors involved in sports and sports broadcasting - and ultimately the sports fan.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/23/star-plus.jpg?itok=iXAKRVJM
‘Kasauti Zindagi Kay’ season 2 to return on Star Plus

One of the love sagas by Ekta Kapoor, Kasauti Zindagi Kay is all set to hit the small screen after 17 years.

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/23/axn.jpg?itok=n8G81iN2
AXN offers the best Reality shows in India

AXN, home to the best of English entertainment for the last 20 years

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/23/zee.jpg?itok=ERi3PRBu
Make way for an epic love saga this monsoon on Zee Anmol

Two people - diametrically different in their thoughts and ideas, following different paths in life! What will happen when these two come together

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/23/amy.jpg?itok=FUiytluM
Paramount TV chief Amy Powell fired over alleged insensitive remarks

After 14 years, chief of Paramount TV Amy Powell has been fired over alleged insensitive remarks – which she has emphatically denied.

Television TV Channels People
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/23/Colors.jpg?itok=wdcPBmpg
A 'Colors'ful decade

It seems just like yesterday. How oft we have heard that phrase being spoken. So much so that it appears banal. However, in the case of Colors – the general entertainment channel from the now Reliance Industries majority-owned Viacom18 – it is so apt. 10 years have gone by since it started.

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/23/ZMCL-800.jpg?itok=e3uk6F_M
ZMCL reports almost fivefold profit for Q1; DNA loss lower

The Essel group’s television news broadcasting arm Zee Media Corporation Ltd (ZMCL) reported a 386.3 per cent growth (almost five fold) in consolidated profit after tax (PAT) for the period ended 30 June 2018 (Q1 2019, quarter or period under review) as compared (year-on-year comparison, y-o-y) to...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/20/vinit.jpg?itok=KKGn2OLY
“We focus on digital to promote non-film music” - Vinit Thakkar

EMI Records India recently launched its own unique platform VYRL Originals which completed six months on 12 July. Every month, a single was released with the latest being Aaya Na Tu by Arjun Kanungo and Momina Mustehsan. EMI Records India was launched in May 2015 by Universal Music Group in...

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/20/star.jpg?itok=K3XoMVlt
Star Bharat experiments with early morning slot

Star Bharat is all set to experiment with weekend morning slot by launching a three-hour programming band from 5 August.

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/20/nat-geo.jpg?itok=d0gKCXTS
National Geographic’s new show to tell success stories of India’s icons

National Geographic will be coming up with a unique show called Mega Icons which will see the success stories of inspiring personalities of India from different platforms.

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories