Sony Pictures Networks India @25: Creating Impact with Purpose
Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) has completed 25 years in the country. To commemorate this milestone, NP Singh, MD & CEO, SPN, wrote a special letter to thank SPN’s supporters, staff, stakeholders for their unconditional love and support to SPN.
Singh started his letter by mentioning about global company Sony entering the Indian market on October 8, 1995, with the launch of a Hindi entertainment channel, Sony Entertainment Television, at a time when the Indian broadcast industry was in its infancy. Tracing the network’s growth in India, Singh wrote, “From one channel, bit by bit, we became a 24-channel network with a digital OTT service SonyLlV, a film production arm, SPN Productions, and a content creation studio, Studio NEXT. The company has steadily grown over the years to an employee count of around 1,200, with its services available across 167 countries and reaching over 700 million viewers. Today, Sony Pictures Networks (SPN), with aggressive growth demonstrated in the last few years, is among the top entertainment and sports networks in the country, recognised as an employer of choice within and outside the media fraternity.”
Singh then went on to mention about the step into uncharted territory in 2007 with the Indian Premier League, at a time when cricket leagues were unheard of. He spoke about how the network molded it into one of the most valuable sports entertainment properties in the country.
He further wrote, “Creating category firsts over the years stands out when I look back. After the launch of SET in 1995, came the launch of Sony MAX in 1999. It was a one of its kind channel that offered to our viewers blockbuster Hindi movies, cricket and special events. This created a unique and unparalleled three-pronged channel identity which has not been replicated since. Challenging the status quo has always been in SPN’s DNA. Some of the India’s most iconic entertainment properties that have stood the test of time have been from the SPN stable.”
Speaking about how SPN has always observed fiscal discipline, Singh wrote, “We have invested where we expected a strong strategic and economic value and exited from properties which appeared unviable over the longer term.” This included acquiring SAB, TEN Sports, Sony Aath, the launch of kids channel Sony YAY! and foray into the regional space with Sony Marathi.
Singh also wrote about the success achieved in the digital space with SonyLIV, when in 2013, SPN became the first broadcaster in the country to launch an OTT platform. “I am confident of its bright future,” affirmed Singh. “We realised early on that digital needed to be the cornerstone of our strategy,” he added.
He further wrote, “Whether distribution or advertising, our partnership approach has been fortified by our ‘Solutions at any cost’ philosophy. We have forged a strong partnership with BBC Worldwide to launch a very successful premium factual entertainment channel, Sony BBC Earth. Our long-standing partnerships with some of the biggest names in the world of sport including WWE, NBA, Cricket Australia, ECB and Sri Lanka Cricket, bring live content to our viewers in India.”
He also mentioned about SPN being recognised by the industry as one of India’s Great Places to Work, and added “Focused on inclusive workplace practices, we envision a company where in the next five years, 50% of our workforce will be women, people with disabilities or from the LGBT+ community.”
Singh signed off his letter stating, ‘It’s been an eventful journey of 25 years and we have come a long way. We will continue to go all out and live up to our corporate ethos of ‘Go-Beyond’, not just in name but in action and spirit. Only time will tell the shape and form the forward journey might take, be it through entering new categories, exploring new markets, innovating through new content formats, etc. One thing I am certain of, now and in years to come, when people close their eyes and think of India's media and entertainment industry, Sony Pictures Networks will always be among the first names to come to mind.”