Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), having bought ESPN, is now eager to increase its market share in sports broadcasting domain. It is for this same reason, Sony India has finalized the deal to acquire Ten Sports from Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited for a whopping Rs. 2600 crores. The only thing left for the deal to formalize is a bunch of regulatory approvals.
Sony India has decided to grow inorganically through means of acquiring Ten Sports. The objective of this deal is to clearly improve the market share. Moreover, following the lead of Star India, they will have multiple channels to screen events. This will enable Sony India to bid for bigger stage events like Olympics, where multiple events occur at the same time.
Sony has already bagged the rights of broadcasting IPL, which is the biggest cricket extravaganza. Apart from this, Sony ESPN has the rights of FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia and certain major tennis grand slams. Sony six also holds rights of major football events like Copa America, International friendlies etc. These are some of the biggest events on Sony platform currently.
The major events of Ten Sports include UEFA Champions league and Europa League, La Liga, Serie A and English FA Cup. It is equally competent in cricket, possessing rights of matches organized by five cricket boards. It also possess the rights of certain ATP events in tennis and WWE. There is also a dedicated channel available for golf, though that is not yet popular.
This will make Sony Pictures Networks the biggest cricket broadcaster in Asia.
Andy Kaplan, president, Worldwide Networks, Sony Pictures Television: “The acquisition of TEN Sports, following the launch of SONY ESPN channels, will mean that our Indian networks would reach over 800 million viewers and broadcast many of the most popular and prestigious sporting events in the world,”
CEO NP Singh to Economic Times: “We felt Ten Sports is a good fit to our sports business. Between what (sport properties) we have and what it (Ten Sports) brings, it makes for a very strong sports portfolio”
What’s in store for the future?
Sony India is all set to lock horns with Star India for future events. It will be an interesting battle, and the third player in market, Neo Sports is likely to get decimated unless the investors are ready to pour in huge sums of money. There is also a possibility of Star India getting its hands on Neo Sports and reducing the market to a duopoly.