Media group Sony Pictures Networks India has launched two new channels amid an overhaul of its sports platform in the Indian subcontinent.
Sony Ten 2 HD and Sony Ten 3 HD will sit amongst 11 channels with the company taking its sports operation under the Sony Pictures Sports Network banner.
The move incorporates the channels brought in through the acquisition of the sports business of pay-television operator Zee Entertainment Enterprises, Ten Sports, in February. Under the new channel line-up, Sony Six and Sony Six HD will focus on cricket, Sony Ten 1 and Sony Ten 1 HD will be the home of wrestling and Sony Ten 2 and Sony Ten 2 HD will offer football.
Sony Ten 3 and Sony Ten 3 HD will offer the best of the sporting action in Hindi, while Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD will focus on international sports and Sony Ten Golf HD will be the home of golf.
Sony has engaged India cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar (pictured) as an ambassador to help promote the new channel line-up.
Rajesh Kaul, president of sports and distribution at Sony Pictures Networks India, told the Exchange4Media.com website: “At Sony Pictures Network we are in a unique position with over 11,000 hours of live content this year that has given us the opportunity to create channel destinations for different sports. Each of our 11 channels will project a distinct content line-up from our expansive portfolio of domestic and national sporting properties.
“In football outside EPL (English Premier League) and (German) Bundesliga we have everything. So that makes us the home of football. LaLiga is the fastest growing sports property in the market. We have seen significant growth in NBA and UFC. Also, there’s something always coming up for renewal. As a serious player, we will continue to strengthen our position.”
Singh also added that significant opportunities lie through the separate monetisation of the Hindi channels. He said: “That opportunity does exist. At this stage advertisers are looking at the aggregate of two and making their investment. In reality viewership of IPL (Indian Premier League) is higher in Hindi than English.”