football

Update: Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) has acquired the exclusive television rights to broadcast Premier Futsal, for India. It is the world’s first-ever multi-national futsal league and SPN will broadcast all Premier Futsal matches live and exclusive on Sony SIX, SONY ESPN and Sony AATH channels across its network. It will also be streamed live on Sony LIV.

Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) has acquired exclusive television and digital rights for the 2016 Copa América Centenario, for the Indian sub-continent. This years Copa is a Centenario, marking the 100th year of the South American football competition. SPN has these rights for India and the Indian subcontinent, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and for 32 matches, being held in the United States of America, between June 3rd and 26th. The tournament will be streamed live online on Sony LIV.

SPL also has the rights for Euro 2016, the tournament held once every four years, featuring most of the top European teams. It will be streaming the tournament on Sony Liv, here, starting 10th June 2016, till 10th July. Interestingly, it has planned commentary for the tournament in English, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam, but just on TV. The EURO 2016 stream will only be in English, a representative of the companys PR agency has told MediaNama. I tried streaming some archival content, and the picture quality (for my 2mbps connection) pretty terrible (screenshot above). The site had video ads: one I noticed was from Lava mobiles.

SPLs competitor Star Sports, which is owned by News Corp, also streamed matches from the English Premier League online. That stream – and I tried it – was great in quality, required very little buffering on a 2mbps connection and had great picture quality. It had advertising from Maruti for the match I watched. Oddly, though, the match wasn’t being streamed on Hotstar, only on StarSports.com.

It’s great to see legit live streaming of sports content in a market where there was none, and users had to rely on illegal online streams. Six or seven years ago, revenues from online advertising could not even justify the cost of streaming, leave alone the cost of rights, but given the increased interest in online video advertising, perhaps the time is right.