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Sony Pictures Networks points finger at organisers for World Cup Kabaddi no-show

SPN had acquired exclusive media rights for World Cup Kabaddi

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MUMBAI: Last week, India won the men’s and women’s World Cup Kabaddi 2019 beating Iraq and Taiwan respectively. While the men eased past Iraq 57-27, the women scored a convincing 47-29 win at the Mini Stadium Bistari in Melaka, Malaysia. Now, if you’re wondering why the twin triumphs escaped your attention or found no mention on your social media feeds, the reason is quite simple. The matches were not televised by the media rights holder Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) for the Indian audiences.

SPN had acquired the exclusive media rights for World Cup Kabaddi 2019, which was held from 20-28 July. The network had got into an agreement with the Malaysia Kabaddi Federation for rights to televise the tournament on its sports channels across eight countries India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan and Afghanistan. SPN was also to make it available to consumers on its streaming service SonyLIV.

“While we were all set to broadcast the World Cup Kabaddi Melaka 2019 for all our Kabaddi fans in India, we were unable to do so as the organisers did not produce the event for television broadcast due to some issues that they were facing,” SPN said in a statement.

World Cup Kabaddi was billed as the marquee event for the World Kabaddi, a body formed just over a year ago. World Kabaddi describes itself as the governing body for the sport in all its three formats – National Style, Beach Kabaddi and Circle Style. It was established following a meeting of more than 50 countries from five continents in Bengaluru in March 2018 with Ashok Kumar Das as president

“The addition of World Cup Kabaddi 2019 to our portfolio augments the positioning of the sports cluster of Sony Pictures Networks India as a global multi-sporting arena with the best international content. We have always worked towards building a multi-sport viewing culture in India with our diverse sports portfolio of international tournaments and marquee events. Kabaddi is one of the more popular sports in the country and we are delighted to be the official broadcasters of an international tournament that positions Kabaddi as a mainstream international sport,” SPN chief revenue officer, distribution and head – sports business Rajesh Kaul had said after securing the exclusive media rights for the World Cup Kabaddi.

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