Sports broadcaster ESPN has launched an Indian version of its website and app. India is the first market outside the United States where ESPN has launched a localised site. ESPN.in and the ESPN app will also feature live streaming video content from Sony Pictures Network India’s (SPN) digital streaming platform Sony LIV, while the cricket coverage will be powered by ESPNCricinfo.com. The ESPN app is available on both Android and iOS.
At the time of registering either on the website or the app, users will be able to select sports, leagues and teams, and receive the latest scores, news, video and images related to those in a separate ‘Favourites’ section. Once the Favourites are set it will be available across both the site and app. ESPN.in features content across cricket, football, F1, tennis, hockey, NBA, kabbadi, badminton, MMA among others.
This development follows ESPN’s return to Indian television earlier this year, after a gap of about three years, in collaboration with SPN. Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD’s programming line-up includes the UEFA Euro 2016, the 2018 FIFA World Cup, plus the Spanish La Liga, the Italian Serie A and the Emirates FA Cup.
SPN acquires more football rights
Last month, SPN acquired exclusive television and digital rights for the 2016 Copa América Centenario, for the Indian sub-continent, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The rights are for all 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.
It also acquired the exclusive television rights to broadcast Premier Futsal for India, which is the world’s first multi-national futsal league and SPN will broadcast all matches live on Sony SIX, Sony ESPN and Sony AATH channels, and live stream it on Sony LIV.
SPN 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.
Other developments in digital sports content domain
– In April of this year, Wall Street Investments acquired 55% stake in Den Sports, which owns the Indian Super League football team Delhi Dynamos, for Rs 43.32 crore.
– A month earlier, BookMyShow acquired Fantain Sports, a Chennai based fan management and analytics startup, for an undisclosed amount, to expand its reach and grow its user base.
– In the same month, Times Internet* acquired US-based sports broadcaster Willow.tv. In February, it got exclusive licenses for digital video clip rights for all ICC events from 2016 to 2019 for the US and Canada.
– In the same month, the International Cricket Council (ICC) appointed Novi Digital Entertainment as the exclusive digital clips licensee for all ICC events from 2016 to 2019.
– In the same month, electronics manufacturer Intex bagged the rights to own the Rajkot franchise for the Indian Premier League (IPL) series.
– In November 2015, Reliance Industries appointed Sundar Raman as the CEO-Sports. Raman would be responsible for consolidation and integration of RIL’s sports properties, including integration with digital services offered by Jio.
– In July 2015, automobile racing news portal Motorsport.com entered the Indian market, with the launch of a website. Motorsport’s India operations will include editorial, marketing and business development, with an office in Mumbai.
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