Television

Sony dominates sports viewership for seven consecutive weeks

The Tokyo 2020 coverage was watched by 100 million viewers on Sony Sports TV channels.

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Mumbai: Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI) has topped the sports genre viewership for seven consecutive weeks owing to the telecast of UEFA EURO 2020, Copa America 2021, India tour of Sri Lanka, Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and the ongoing India tour of England.

In recent weeks, Sony Sports TV channels have been sampled by close to 100 million viewers on average per week. This is considerably higher than any other platform telecasting sports in the country during the same period. (BARC, CS 2+, All India U+R), said the media company in a statement.

UEFA EURO 2020’s average viewership was more than double that of the 2016 edition. Average viewership impressions for Copa America 2021 grew by almost 60 per cent compared to the 2016 edition. The heavily anticipated final between Argentina and Brazil was watched by 7.4 million viewers, even though the telecast of the match started at 5:30 a.m (BARC, CS 2+, All India U+R), it added.

With back-to-back global marquee events for three months, Sony Sports’ not only provided differentiated content to viewers but also a conducive platform for its advertising partners. The brand has been consistent in its efforts to establish sports other than cricket and has received consistent support from advertisers through this journey. With a view to amplifying the reach of sports events and advertiser campaigns, Sony Sports added Sony Ten 4 channels to their offering which ensured that brands were now able to communicate with a wider audience in Tamil and Telugu speaking markets.

Starting in 2019, Sony’s Sports promotion for the Olympic Games continued for two years with campaigns such as ‘Hum Honge Kamyab’ which in addition to serving the larger cause of growing sports in India also celebrated the lesser-known, unsung Indian heroes. The campaign featuring minister Anurag Thakur and others, ensured 23 per cent growth in terms of gross impressions over Rio Olympics, making it the most-watched Olympic Games on Indian television and adding a serious value proposition for advertisers. (BARC, All India U+R, CS 2+, Gross impressions for LIVE telecast)

Brands like Thumbs Up, MPL, JSW and Adani group amongst others utilised their existing association with Olympics and athletes to create specific campaigns around Tokyo Olympics and used the platform to reach out to their target audiences. Contextual elements such as split-screen helped brands reach out to captive audiences’ during key moments of the Olympics Games Tokyo 2020. The sports broadcaster also leveraged the power of social media and amplified sponsor associations on Sony Sports' social media handles. The entire coverage of the Olympics Games Tokyo 2020 was watched by close to 100 million viewers on Sony Sports (BARC, CS 2+, All India U+R, LIVE+ non-LIVE content). The record medal tally by the Indian contingent led to high interest in watching the event especially games such as hockey, athletics, wrestling, badminton, boxing, and weightlifting.

Indian audiences have an insatiable appetite for cricket and India’s victory down under at the beginning of the year gave Test match cricket the desired fillip. This has been evident from advertiser participation from across categories, with 12 sponsors. The LIVE telecast of the Sri Lanka vs India cricket series was watched by close to 100 million viewers on Sony Sports. (BARC, CS 2+, All India U+R). Viewership for the currently ongoing England vs India test match series on Sony Sports has been the highest for an away bilateral test match series featuring the Indian cricket team in the past three years. Average ratings for the series till date is almost 30 per cent higher than the 2018 series featuring the same two teams. (BARC, CS 2+, All India U+R)

SPNI head, ad sales-network channels, Sandeep Mehrotra said, “Our efforts that resulted in unprecedented growth overall of marquee events such as UEFA EURO 2020 & Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 attracted non-traditional advertisers who seek the last mile reach. While all our events generated phenomenal interest amongst advertisers, we extended innovative solutions to ensure that the brands’ visibility is amplified especially during the Olympic Games where the broadcast is spread across the day and viewer interest is higher around events with Indian participation."

He added, "Women’s cricket is also on the rise, and we already have brands onboarded for the India Tour of Australia series starting in September and are in the process of closing more. The series is a significant milestone for Team India as they will be playing their first day and night test match with a pink ball and is sure to attract a lot of interest from cricket fans. We are sure that this series will be looked upon as an opportunity by many female-centric brands as well to deliver their communication and reach out to a large audience base which the women cricket has been attracting of late.”

Commenting on the association, Think & Learn Pvt Ltd (BYJU's), marketing head, Atit Mehta, stated,  “Our association with Sony Sports channels has proven to be advantageous and an ideal way to increase awareness with our target demographics and promote our messaging. At BYJU’S, we believe that for a child’s all-round development it is essential to focus on both academics and outdoor activity, and that is why we partner with Sony Sports channels across all major sporting events because sports teach unmatched skills and provides an environment which aids in developing and honing competencies like performance under pressure, controlled aggression, and leadership skills.”

“Hero MotoCorp has been one of the largest corporate promoters of multiple disciplines of sports around the globe for more than two decades. Our association with Sony Sports TV channels for the broadcast of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 has been an extension of that and we shall continue to have presence across such prestigious platforms,” added Hero Motocorp, CMO, Ranjivjit Singh.

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