(Mumbai and Bangalore) – Multi Screen Media (MSM) and ESPN have come together in a long-term agreement to serve sports fans in India and across the Indian subcontinent. Through the collaboration they will bring new offerings to Indian sports fans including new SONY ESPN sports channels and a new multisport website and app. This collaboration between two of the most respected brands in Indian media and sports will provide a powerful portfolio of sports rights and the leading collection of digital sports assets in India.
MSM’s existing Sony KIX sports channel will be rebranded SONY ESPN and the two companies will launch other new channels in the coming months. Along with SONY SIX, all the channels will deliver a powerful sports lineup to sports fans.
In collaboration with MSM, ESPN will launch a co-branded localized multisport website and app, which will provide coverage of cricket, football, tennis, the NBA, badminton, field hockey and more. MSM’s SONY LIV will also benefit from the collaboration, increasing its current sports offerings significantly. ESPNcricinfo, the number one digital cricket destination in India and globally, will continue to deliver comprehensive coverage and will complement and cross-promote the new digital properties and sports channels.
Among the new co-branded multisport website, sonyliv.com and espncricinfo.com, sports fans will receive sports content from across categories, geographies and time zones.
There will be a robust social media presence for the new co-branded media platforms and, an online programming guide for television.
Components of the collaboration require regulatory approvals, for which the process is currently underway.
NP Singh, CEO, Multi Screen Media (MSM):
“Our partnership with ESPN is just what the sports aficionado has been waiting for. Stylised, insightful sports content presented by the best sportscasters in the business. For consumers in India and the subcontinent, sports television viewing will change dramatically since they will soon have access not only to more content but also the widest array of sports lineup, ever available.”
“MSM’s association with ESPN is holistic and embraces both television and digital formats. Not only are we about to set the frontiers in sports content and distribution but we will most likely set the trends as well. Going further, both companies will also explore collaboration on the development of other original sports programs.”
Russell Wolff, Executive Vice-President and Managing Director, ESPN International:
“ESPN’s focus around the world is simple: to serve sports fans. This exciting, long-term collaboration between ESPN and MSM will serve Indian sports fans with exceptional products, content and coverage through the combined strengths and expertise of our two companies, which each have a strong heritage of leadership and innovation in India. We are very excited to be working with Sony, one of the leading television channels in India, on the opportunities that lie ahead.”
MSM’s current sports rights portfolio in India includes the Indian Premier League and other cricket (including the Indian Test tour of Sri Lanka), the UEFA Euro 2016, top European football leagues (including La Liga, The FA Cup and Serie A), the NBA, the NFL, the IRB Rugby World Cup, UFC, TNA Wrestling, NASCAR and more.
ESPN will add to that by delivering more than 1000 hours of programming per year from its portfolio of sports rights, original programming and studio programs. Live sports content in the deal includes major U.S. college football (including the College Football Playoff and comprehensive coverage of the college football bowl season); major U.S. college basketball (including the March Madness® NCAA Championship Tournaments); NCAA college sport championships from baseball, softball, lacrosse, soccer; Boxing (including Premier Boxing Champions and ESPN’s Big Fights Library); X Games; ESPN Films Emmy-Award Winning 30 For 30 documentaries and more.
About Multi Screen Media (MSM):
MSM is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation – which owns and operates the Sony Entertainment network of television channels. As a leading television network in India, MSM comprises of Sony Entertainment Television (SET), one of India’s leading Hindi general entertainment television channels; MAX, India’s premium Hindi movies and special events channel; MAX 2, a second Hindi movie channel showcasing great Indian Cinema; SAB, a family comedy entertainment channel; PIX, the English movie channel; AXN, the leaders in English Entertainment Channel; MIX a refreshing Hindi music channel; SIX, India’s Premier Sports Entertainment Channel; Sony KIX, a youth-centric sports channel focusing on high adrenaline, fast-paced content and Sony LIV – the Digital Entertainment Channel.
The Network is in its 20th year in India.
ESPN is among the most favored and respected sports brands in India, having built a strong connection with Indian sports fans through its leadership in digital media and a long heritage in sports television.
ESPN is India’s market-leading digital sports provider, and the number one digital sports brand globally. It serves fans with the best digital sports content and products across the variety of digital devices that the modern sports fan uses daily. In India, ESPN’s digital portfolio is led by ESPNcricinfo – the leading digital cricket destination in India and globally, with more than 20 years of leadership. It is joined by other growing properties including ESPNFC.com (global football) and the coming multisport site. .
ESPN, Inc. is the leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring the broadest portfolio of multimedia sports assets with over 50 business entities, including 35 television networks and a variety of additional businesses that reach sports fans in more than 61 countries and territories across all seven continents. The company’s philosophy to global growth begins with its mission, to serve sports fans anytime, anywhere. It leverages world-class global technology and media platforms to deliver content and products that are locally relevant and tap into the passion and dedication of fans all over the globe. ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.