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Multi Screen Media collaborates with ESPN to expand reach in India

This collaboration will bring an array of new sports channels showcasing different sporting events from all over the globe for the audience.

MSM has garnered huge profits from last year’s IPL

Indian Premier League (IPL) rights holder Multi Screen Media (MSM) and sports broadcaster ESPN announced plans on Wednesday to launch new channels and impact the digital market in India. This will not only influence the digital market, but will also provide the Indian sports fans with an array of channel choices to choose from.

ESPN, has previously exited India in 2012 after a split with Rupert Murdoch-owned Star TV, which owns the TV rights to India’s international matches and tournaments at home, other than the Indian Premier League.

“It brings together two of the most respected brands in the media world.  It will be a combined portfolio of their expertise in sports coverage and our reach and penetration and market position we bring in this particular territory. I see it as a win-win combination from a sports fan’s perspective,” Prasana Krishnan, vice president and business head of sports for MSM, told Reuters.

According to the deal, Sony Corp-owned MSM’s sports channel KIX will be rebranded as SONY ESPN along with the launch of a number of new channels together in the coming months. A multisport website and app will also start in collaboration between t the two.  These will provide coverage of cricket, football, tennis, the NBA and several other sports.

Besides broadcasting the popular IPL and the NBA, MSM also holds rights for the Rugby World Cup, Euro 2016, the Under-17 World Cup to be held in India, soccer leagues such as Spanish La Liga, the Serie A and the FA Cup and the Australian Open tennis.

“Currently we are starting off with rebranding SONY KIX as the first SONY ESPN channel. We will follow it up with hi-deck versions and more channels. It will be rolled out over a period of time.” Krishnan said.

This particular collaboration in a way will help to raise the interest of the Indian viewers in sports which are not very popular in the country. Viewership of tournaments such as NBA, NFL, MSM along with football leagues such as Seria A and La Liga will be benefited through this partnership.

MSM has previously made huge amount of profit from the Indian Premier League in the last eight years. After a warm response by advertisers last year, they clocked advertising revenue of about Rs 1,000 crore from IPL-8 with an aim to hike ad revenue by  10-15% next season.

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