Mumbai: Multi Screen Media (MSM) Network has signed a five-year deal with the Association of Tennis Professionals for exclusive broadcast rights for all major ATP World Tour events for India and the rest of SAARC countries. The deal, which will be effective from January 2016 and extend till 2020, is estimated to be valued at Rs 100-150 crore.
The development comes two days after MSM Network picked up the rights for the upcoming Pro-Wrestling League. As part of the deal, Sony Six and Kix, the sports entertainment channels of the MSM Network, will showcase 23 major tournaments which are part of the ATP Men’s Professional Tennis Circuit – nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, 13 ATP World Tour 500 events and the season ending ATP World Tour Finals, which is a tournament played by the eight best ranked players on the ATP circuit. “Tennis has got a fairly strong following in most parts of urban India. Major players like Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are household names and have huge popularity,” said Prasana Krishnan, business head of Sony Six and Kix.
He further added, “Also, Indian performance has been pretty good, especially in the doubles and mixed doubles category.So India has a reasonably good connect with the sport. It’s also a sport which has seen a lot of investment in India recently, particularly the two leagues which have come up.” This is MSM and Sony’s third tennis-related property, after the Vijay Amritraj-run Champions Tennis League and the first grand slam of the year, the Australian Open.
Krishnan said he hoped that with Sony showing 24 of the 27 biggest tour events, 90% of all major tournaments of tennis will be on the Sony channel.