Sony Sports TV channels have featured at the top of the sports genre viewership for seven consecutive weeks due to the telecast of UEFA EURO 2020, Copa America 2021, India tour of Sri Lanka, Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and the ongoing India tour of England. With back-to-back global marquee events on the sports channels for three months, Sony Sports showcased an impressive product mix that catered to a wider range of viewers.
Sony Sports TV channels provide differentiated content to viewers and a conducive platform for its advertising partners. Sony Sports has been consistent in its efforts to establish sports other than cricket and has received consistent support from advertisers through this journey. In recent weeks, Sony Sports TV channels have been sampled by close to 100 million viewers on average per week. This is considerably higher than any other platform telecasting sports in the country during the same period. (BARC, CS 2+, All India U+R). Advertisers today are cognizant of consumer preferences in terms of content consumption, language preference and environment. With a view to amplify the reach of sports events and advertiser campaigns, Sony Sports added SONY TEN 4 channels to their offering which ensured that brands were now able to communicate with a wider audience in Tamil and Telugu speaking markets.
UEFA EURO 2020 performed extremely well in terms of TV ratings, with average viewership for the tournament more than double that of the 2016 edition. Copa America 2021 telecast was also a success on TV, with average viewership impressions for the event growing by almost 60% compared to the 2016 edition. The heavily anticipated final between Argentina and Brazil was watched by 7.4 million viewers, even though the telecast of the match started at 5.30 am (BARC, CS 2+, All India U+R).
Sony’s Sports promotion for the Olympic Games started in July 2019 and continued for two years, and they rolled out one of the grandest & buzziest campaigns in the history of the Olympic Games in India – Hum Honge Kamyab. Hum Honge Kamyab, an innovative campaign that not only served the larger cause of growing Sports in India but also celebrated the lesser-known, unsung Indian heroes, featured unprecedented faces and never seen before names on TV like Sports minister Anurag Thakur, former Sports Minister, Shri Kiren Rijiju, General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff and Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee, Mr. N.P. Singh, MD & CEO, Sony Pictures Networks India, Sudha Murthy, Rana Daggubati, Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher, Yuvraj Singh, Boman Irani, Farhan Akhtar, Sonakshi Sinha, Adille Sumariwala, Arshad Warsi, Pullela Gopichand, Vijender Singh, Anjali Bhagwat, Parth Jindal, Harsha Bhogle, Shankar Mahadevan, Anurag Basu, and many more. This campaign ensured growth in terms of gross impressions, 23% higher than the Rio Olympics, making it the most-watched Olympic Games on Indian television and adding a serious value proposition for advertisers. (BARC, All India U+R, CS 2+, Gross impressions for LIVE telecast).
Brands like Thumsup, MPL, JSW & Adani group amongst others utilized their existing association with Olympics and athletes to create specific campaigns around Tokyo Olympics and used the platform to reach out to their target audiences. Contextual elements such as split-screen (executed for the first time by any sports broadcaster on an event of this scale) helped brands reach out to captive audiences’ during key moments of the Olympics Games Tokyo 2020. The sports broadcaster also leveraged the power of social media and amplified sponsor associations on Sony Sports’ social media handles.
The entire coverage of the Olympics Games Tokyo 2020 was watched by close to 100 million viewers on Sony Sports (BARC, CS 2+, All India U+R, LIVE+ non-LIVE content). The record medal tally by the Indian contingent led to a high interest to watch the event especially events like Hockey, Athletics, Wrestling, Badminton, Boxing, and Weightlifting.
Indian audiences have an insatiable appetite for cricket and India’s victory down under at the beginning of the year has given Test match cricket the desired fillip. This has been evident from unprecedented advertiser participation from across categories, with 12 sponsors. The LIVE telecast of Sri Lanka vs India cricket series was watched by close to 100 million viewers on Sony Sports. (BARC, CS 2+, All India U+R). Viewership for the currently ongoing England vs India test match series on Sony Sports has been the highest for an away bilateral test match series featuring the Indian cricket team in the past three years. Average ratings for the series to date is almost 30% higher than the 2018 series featuring the same two teams. (BARC, CS 2+, All India U+R).
Sandeep Mehrotra, Head, Ad-Sales, Network Channels, Sony Pictures Networks India “Our efforts that resulted in unprecedented growth overall of marquee events such as UEFA EURO 2020 & Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 attracted non-traditional advertisers who seek the last mile reach. While all our events generated phenomenal interest amongst advertisers, we extended innovative solutions to ensure that the brands’ visibility is amplified especially during the Olympic Games where the broadcast is spread across the day and viewer interest is higher around events with Indian participation.
Women’s cricket is also on the rise, and we already have brands onboarded for the India Tour of Australia series starting in September and are in the process of closing more. The series is a significant milestone for Team India as they will be playing their first day & night test match with a pink ball and is sure to attract a lot of interest from cricket fans. We are sure that this series will be looked upon as an opportunity by many female centric brands as well to deliver their communication and reach out to a large audience base which the women cricket has been attracting of late.”
Atit Mehta, Marketing Head, Think & Learn Pvt. Ltd. (BYJU’s) “Our association with Sony Sports channels has proven to be advantageous and an ideal way to increase awareness with our target demographics and promote our messaging. At BYJU’S, we believe that for a child’s all-round development it is essential to focus on both academics and outdoor activity, and that is why we partner with Sony Sports channels across all major sporting events because sports teach unmatched skills and provides an environment which aids in developing and honing competencies like performance under pressure, controlled aggression, and leadership skills.”
Ranjivjit Singh, CMO, Hero Motocorp “Hero MotoCorp has been one of the largest corporate promoters of multiple disciplines of sports around the globe for more than two decades. Our association with Sony Sports TV channels for the broadcast of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 has been an extension of that and we shall continue to have a presence across such prestigious platforms.”