Hyderabad: Having dished out entertainment aplenty over nine years of the hugely popular IPL, broadcaster Sony Pictures Networks India is planning to inject a fresh lick into the 10th season of the annual cricket carnival beginning on April 5 here. Garnering over 361 million viewers during the last season, the network will continue to integrate the Telugu feed for this year’s edition as well. In addition to the Telugu feed, the broadcaster aims to sustain the viewership momentum by continuing the Hindi, Tamil and Bengali feeds as well. The English feed will be available on Sony SIX channels while the Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and Hindi language feeds will be available on SONY ESPN channels. Sony MAX will exclusively broadcast the Hindi feed.
Regional versions of the national campaign titled “10 saal aapke naam” are being rolled out in a tribute to the fans who form the heart of the event. “IPL is the most successful start-up in the history of sport,” Prasana Krishnan, EVP and business head of the Sports Cluster of SPNI said here on Thursday. “Ten years is a significant milestone and we have contributed tremendously to building it through our coverage. This year too, we will integrate the fans into our coverage. Their stories and anecdotes will be part of our broadcast features,” Mr Krishnan added.
Asked if Navjot Singh Sidhu — whose role as a commentator/ studio expert is being debated after he was appointed minister in the Punjab cabinet recently — would be part of the team, Mr Krishnan played safe. “That’s a decision the government of Punjab has to take,” he said. “We would love to have him though. He is charming and one of the most popular faces and voices.”
Mr Krishnan also played down competition from cricket leagues around the world. “There is no evidence of IPL slowing down, in fact we are gaining global footprint. The IPL has a great local level connect. The viewership in India is about 25 times that of other leagues played across the world,” he said....