NEW DELHI: Amid the gloom of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, broadcaster Sony Pictures Sports Network (SPSN) is banking on upcoming global football tournaments, UEFA EURO 2020 and Copa América 2021 to lift the mood besides eyeing good business, a senior company official said on Tuesday.
The network expects to clock advertising revenue of up to Rs 200 crore from its linear and digital channels together from the EURO 2020, which will start from June 11 and will be held in 11 cities across Europe featuring 24 top teams of the continent.
The tournament was deferred from last year due to the pandemic.
Ahead of the major football tournaments, SPSN has also launched a new sports channel -- SONY TEN 4, which will be available in Tamil and Telugu languages across the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana.
Overall, the tournaments will be aired in six languages - English, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam.
"The whole country needs today these kinds of big events to cheer up the mood. It couldn't have come at a better time for us," Sony Pictures Networks India Chief Revenue Officer, Distribution and Head Sports Business Rajesh Kaul told PTI.
While the entire nation is going through difficult times, he said, "At least we have such a huge line up of content to bring cheers to the public of India and also relieve a lot of stress and tension, and divert the whole attention from corona to far better things."
Apart from the Euro 2020 and Copa America 2021 -- South America's largest football tournament to be played in Brazil from June 13-July 10, the broadcaster's lineup of sports properties in the next five to six months include India's tour of Sri Lanka in cricket, the Olympics and then India's tour of England in cricket.
As far as business is concerned, Kaul said for the EURO 2020 "between digital and linear (channels) both put together we are looking at something around Rs 200-odd crore (of advertising revenue)".
"This is a marquee content and we are commanding a very good premium rate, something which you normally associate with all these non-fiction formats shows on GECs -- ranging between Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh per ten seconds (spots).
It is a premium price which we are commanding and people are ready to pay that," he said.
He said already SPSN has signed up to four brands and "another four-five conversations are in the last stage of negotiations which should get closed in the next two to three days".
"By this weekend we will be close to 70 per cent of spots sold out," Kaul said adding this year's Euro would definitely clock higher ad revenues from the previous edition five years ago as "at that time contribution from digital was not there and digital is a big player this time".
For the EURO 2020, SPSN has roped in former India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia and current captain Sunil Chhetri along with other players Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Sandesh Jhingan, and Robin Singh as experts for live studio shows.
They will share the stage with international former footballers like Louis Saha, Luis Garcia, Don Hutchison, David James, Terry Phelan, Mark Seagraves, Ashley Westwood, and Jofre Mateu, SPSN said.
"We are presenting a football festival for sports fans in India with both UEFA EURO 2020 and Copa América.
We are presenting over 75 matches across 30 days and viewers can expect six to ten hours of daily live coverage of all the biggest and most popular international football teams competing in these two events," Kaul said.