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We are targeting Rs 200 cr in ad revenues for UEFA Euro & Copa America: Rajesh Kaul

The UEFA Euro 2020 championship is set to kick off from tomorrow (June 11, 2021) after a delay of one year due to the global pandemic. As official broadcaster of the tournament in India, Sony Pictures Sports Network (SPSN) will telecast UEFA EURO 2020 in six languages to reach out to a wider audience across India: English, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. Fans can watch all the thrilling action unfold LIVE on SONY TEN 2, SONY TEN 3, SONY SIX and newly launched SONY TEN 4 channels as well as livestream it on SonyLIV.

The newly-launched SONY TEN 4 channel will be available in Tamil and Telugu languages across the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The channel launch is in-line with SPSN’s commitment to foster a multi-sports culture in the country while providing fans with an unparalleled viewing experience of their favourite sports. SPSN has roped in actor Rana Daggubati as the face of the channel and he will also be promoting WWE’s programming in Tamil and Telugu.

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UEFA Euro 2020 poised to draw good traction, experts

Sony flexes its regional muscle for telecast of UEFA EURO 2020 and Copa América 2021

The 16th edition of UEFA Euro 2020 will be held across 11 cities across Europe featuring 24 top football teams. A total of 51 games will be played over a period of 30 days. Rome’s Stadio Olimpico will host the opening match on June 12, while the finals on July 12 will be held inside the iconic Wembley Stadium in London. The opening round of matches from June 12 to June 23 will feature some thrilling encounters such as England vs Croatia, France vs Germany, Portugal vs Germany, Portugal vs France and many more.

Meanwhile, SPSN will also be telecasting Copa América 2021, which will feature, among others, Brazil and Argentina, two of the most popular international football teams in India.

In conversation with Adgully, Rajesh Kaul, Chief Revenue Officer, Distribution and Head - Sports Business, Sony Pictures Networks, shares the network’s strategy for the telecast and promotion of the UEFA Euro 2020 and Copa América 2021 championships, advertiser interest in the football tournaments amid the global pandemic, further strengthening Sony’s foothold in the regional – especially the South – markets, launch of SONY TEN 4 channel, and more.

How are you creating buzz for UEFA EURO 2020 and Copa América 2021?

We have a 360-degree marketing plan involving ATL and BTL platforms to ensure we reach out not only to football fans, but also the larger group of sport fans and viewers across demographics in the country. We have also rolled out a robust TV & Digital plan and special focus on digital amplification. All the digital platforms of Sony Pictures Sports Network will act as a key engagement driver during our campaign.

What is the advertiser interest for this year’s UEFA Euro 2020 and Copa America 2021?

UEFA Euro 2020 and Copa America 2021 are marquee international football events that attract premium audiences. We have received interest from a wide category of advertisers like automobiles, mobile handsets, telecom, e-commerce, gaming and finance and are targeting Rs 200 crore in ad revenues.

You have launched a new channel Sony TEN 4 and UEFA EURO 2020 and Copa América 2021 will be telecast in six languages. What’s your regional expansion strategy? What is your programming strategy to drive penetration for the Sony TEN 4 channel in the Tamil market?

There is a huge demand for sports content in Tamil and Telugu. People are more comfortable watching their favourite sports and marquee global sporting events in their local language of choice. Regional language sports channels attract local viewers and advertisers and our aim is to grow our subscriber base and monetise on regional sports content with the launch of SONY TEN 4. With the current scenario of the lockdown, most viewers are at home consuming content on the television for entertainment. We have a stacked calendar of marquee events starting with the Euros & Copa America in June, so this is a good time to launch our channel and serve our serve our viewers in TN, AP/Telangana with sports content in a language of their choice.

In addition to this, SONY TEN 4 will showcase WWE flagship properties WWE Raw, SmackDown, and NXT along with PPV events for viewers in Tamil and Telugu. Other exciting multi-sporting properties include the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, India tour of England, India Tour of Sri Lanka and more. The channel will have a line-up of eminent Tamil and Telugu-speaking hosts and commentators from the sports and entertainment fraternity.

How is sports content viewership growing in regional markets? What are the promising markets? South audiences are used to watching English broadcasts for sports. What made you believe there is an appetite for regional language broadcasts?

Tamil and Telugu are two of the biggest regional markets in the country. They make a huge contribution to the overall numbers. Overall regional content consumption in these two states is roughly around 80 per cent – be it sport, non-sport, GEC, movies. That’s how we decided on launching a dedicated 24-hour sports channel for Tamil and Telugu.

What is your marketing plan for Sony TEN 4 channel launch?

We have a complete 360-degree marketing plan carved out for a high voltage campaign in all the three states. Our marketing promotion strategy is centered around the reach & awareness, and to that end we are focused on high-reach, high-impact primary mediums of TV and digital. Through strategic targeting, we aim to reach out to the large masses of people who enjoy watching sports and who will find further joy in watching marquee global sporting events in their local language of choice. Rana Daggubati has been roped in as the face of SONY TEN 4 channels and WWE in Tamil & Telugu so that we can ensure maximum visibility, recall & engagement. Rana Daggubati is an Indian actor, producer, television personality, visual effects co-ordinator, and an entrepreneur known primarily for his work in Telugu language films, in addition to Hindi and Tamil languages. Rana has become a household name and has massive appeal across the southern part of the country. He is also known for his enthusiasm and passion for sports which makes him an ideal choice as the Face of the SONY TEN 4 channels and WWE in Tamil & Telugu.

In addition to showcasing our annual line up of events, the initial burst of the marketing campaign will be led by our promos for Euro 2020, a show piece event which we will be telecasting in Tamil and Telugu across the three states.

(Edited and additional inputs by Shanta Saikia)

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