SPSN eyes strong subscriber growth, as football season approaches

SPSN is charging Rs 2.5-3 lakh per 10-second spot

KOLKATA: Football fans across the world are brimming with excitement, as the countdown to one of the biggest sporting events has begun. The delayed UEFA Euro 2020 is all set to enthral fans starting 11 June. To add to the fervour, is the return of Copa America 2021 around the same time.

With the two sporting events all set to capture the fans’ imagination, the official broadcaster, Sony Pictures Sports Network (SPSN) is leaving no stone unturned to make the best of the moment. The network has even launched a new regional channel amid the pandemic for its Tamil and Telugu viewers.

The lockdowns induced by the second wave of the pandemic has walloped the economy, and the sentiment among advertisers remains low. Yet, the broadcaster is witnessing huge interest from advertisers, thanks to the marquee international football events that attract premium audiences, said Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI), chief revenue officer and distribution and head-sports business, Rajesh Kaul.

A wide category of advertisers like automobiles, mobile handsets, telecom, e-commerce, gaming & finance are showing interest for the tournaments. The sports broadcaster is charging Rs 2.5-3 lakh per 10-second spot.

Meri Doosri Country was a huge success during FIFA World Cup and that is why we have decided to make this our signature campaign for international marquee football tournaments, where India is not represented. For the EUROs, the same thought has evolved to ‘Iss baar konsi hogi tumhari doosri country’ and we have boldly showcased the rivalry between fans using protagonists across age groups and geographies,” Kaul added.

SPSN is executing a 360-degree marketing plan involving ATL and BTL platforms to reach out not only to football fans, but also the larger group of sport fans. In addition to that, the broadcaster is also exploring a range of media platforms that will enable it to reach viewers across demographics in the country. Besides, SPSN will be identifying partnerships and associations that can be leveraged to reach out target audience as well as engage with them.

Kaul is optimistic about the Football calendar driving subscription for the network. “The whole world was under lockdown. Once live sports started again, sports saw a huge growth since it was a means of escapism for people staying at home. Football is the second to cricket in India and there is a strong community who follow this sport on daily basis,” he said.

With the start of football festival on Sony Sports, the subscription for the sports channels will follow an upward trajectory.

Apart from the Euro 2020 and Copa America 2021, the line-up of sports properties in the next five to six months include India tour of England in cricket, Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 with various WWE and UFC LIVE main events. For this year, the network is expecting at least a 25 per cent increase in the sports subscription revenue of linear TV.

“The whole country today needs events like EURO 2020, Copa America and Olympics to cheer up the mood. It couldn’t have come at a better time for us to launch the channel. The huge line up of content provides us an opportunity to bring cheers to the people in India and also relieve a lot of stress and tension along with diverting the whole attention from pandemic to far better and positive things,” he signed off.

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