Viacom 18, the Reliance-backed entertainment network, is set to enter sports broadcasting and has hired Star Sports EVP Ad Sales Anil Jayaraj as CEO of Sports Business.
Jayaraj quit Star Sports in July after a 6-year stint with the company. In addition, Viacom18 has reportedly bagged the rights of the FIFA World Cup 2022, which is to be held in Qatar for a whopping amount of Rs 450 crore.
As per reports, Reliance has acquired the media rights of the major football competitions for the Indian subcontinent, which will witness the traction of the Indian audience in huge numbers.
Welcoming Anil Jayaraj, Adil Zainulbhai, Chairman, Network18 said, “As a leading media & entertainment network in India, Viacom18 has been dialing up its offerings to tap into whitespaces across platforms. We believe that sports are an important category in our promise to deliver wholesome entertainment to our 800mn+ viewers across demographics and geographies. With his rich experience in identifying and building sporting events into high-value containment phenomena, Anil is aptly poised to lead our newest sports vertical.”
Anil Jayaraj has previously served as Chief Marketing Officer at Pidilite Industries Limited, prior to which he was at BP/Castrol for 16 years in sales and marketing roles based in the UK and India.
Speaking on his appointment, Anil Jayaraj said, “Sporting events in India have evolved beyond just one or two games with increasing fandom amongst audiences towards newer competitive sports. This democratization has created an unmatched opportunity for containment and I am excited to build Viacom18 network’s foray into sports as a category.”
Anil Jayaraj joins Viacom18 from Star Sports, where he was Executive Vice President responsible for ad sales, global syndication, and cross-screen offer design and measurement. He has successfully led his team to deliver business performance across multiple sporting events including the Indian Premier League, Cricket World Cup, Pro Kabaddi League, Indian Super League among others. He has a track record of successfully leading teams to deliver business results in B2C as well as B2B customer businesses, and has excelled at strategic and leadership roles.