With a diverse population, keeping viewers from different walks of life hooked onto content is a challenge facing any brand in India. N.P Singh, CEO, Sony Pictures Networks views this as an opportunity to expand its sports offerings and deliver top notch content across multiple sports.
Ahead of his keynote at Sports Matters next week, we caught up with him to understand the challenges and opportunities broadcasters in the market face.
[Meet Singh and other global business leaders from the world of sports at All That Matters. It’s not too late to Register for All That Matters! Book your tickets here or simply turn up to the Ritz on Monday to buy a pass.]
Branded: The challenge for any TV broadcaster today is to attract the younger audiences, especially at a time they are hooked on to online video platforms. How are you tackling this at Sony?
Singh: Recognizing that India is a young country, we started investing in digital rights for marquee sports events a few years ago. As a result, on our digital platform, SonyLIV, sports contributes to about 40-45% of the overall viewership. Some of the marquee sports for which we have digital media rights include India’s Tour of West indies, Sri Lanka and South Africa in cricket, European Qualifiers for FIFA 2018, LA Liga, Serie A, UEFA Champions league, 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup to name a few in football, WWE in wrestling, UFC in combat sports, ATP and Australian Open in tennis among others.
Branded: In a recent interview you said the future of sports is multi-sport. How challenging is it to achieve this in a market dominated by cricket?
Singh: India comprises of a young population and the millennial population is only growing. We have also witnessed a growing trend in sports viewership, where viewers are sampling other sports beyond cricket and this will only grow further. We envisaged and believed in certain properties, when nobody else did and today they have gone on to become India’s biggest sporting properties. Our corporate philosophy of Go-Beyond, encourages us to be brave, curious, insightful and visionary in everything we do. Hence we want to create an experience which is beyond cricket. Millennials form a major chunk of India’s population and today a viewer wants to see exclusive/ differed content. Therefore, we are investing in sports like football, wrestling, combat sports, basketball, mixed martial arts, etc. to name a few to attract these viewers and deliver a distinct experience.
Branded: As advertisers are moving more and more towards digital, how are you as a broadcaster ensuring the ad dollars for TV to keep flowing?
The ever-growing digital space does not really pose as a roadblock for us as broadcasters. Both mediums have their own revenue generating streams due to the distinction in their formats. One has to understand and appreciate these distinctions in order to use both, the digital and television platforms, effectively.
What are Singh’s views on India’s ever-evolving sports landscape? What is Sony’s plan for India going forward? Join us at Sports Matters to know all this and much more! Book your tickets here or simply turn up to the Ritz on Monday to buy a pass.
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