Mumbai : Multi Screen Media has announced the launch of a new sports channel Sony Kix. With the Indian Premier League under its belt, the network has decided to launch the new channel with the 2015 edition of the annual 20-20 cricket tournament.
The channel, which will be used for airing Tamil and Telugu feeds of the tournament, will also have content in English and Hindi after the IPL. Viewers can opt for either Tamil or Telugu commentary during the season. The pre- and post-match shows, however, will continue to be in Hinglish.
“In 2009, we started the Bengali feed of the IPL. So we have experience in multilingual feeds. With the FIFA 2014 World Cup, we strengthened the proposition and now, we will offer the IPL in five languages, English, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil and Telugu,” said NP Singh, chief executive officer, MSM India.
Prasanna Krishnan, business head for Sony Six and Sony Six HD, will be heading the new sports channel as well. “After the IPL, we will continue to have football and fight sports tournaments on the channel. We are yet to take a call on which tournaments will go in which language, but the positioning of Sony Kix will be as a complementary channel to Sony Six. We want to provide consistent coverage of the various properties we have, and having a second sports channel will help us programme more efficiently,” Singh said.
The channel’s launch with language feeds will help it roll out in the southern states, but the intention is to have pan-India distribution as soon as possible.
Despite launching the channel with IPL 2015, the network has sold inventory to sponsors and advertisers at a network level. This means the ad-sales team has gone to the market with all four channels as a package.
This year, the rates for the tournament have grown by 10-15 per cent over the 2014 edition. This means sponsors and advertisers have to shell out Rs 5.2-5.75 lakh for a 10-second spot on average.
“The sentiment towards cricket is positive after India’s performance in the World Cup. We have seen a hike in advertising rates by around 15 per cent and most of the inventory is sold out. While e-commerce was the new category last year, this year, too, we have seen new sponsors coming on board,” Singh said.