Multi Screen Media is launching its second sports entertainment channel in the coming week. Being launched on the back of Pepsi IPL 2015, the test signals for the channel christened as Sony Kix are already on.
The channel is MSM's second foray in sports after a successful outing with Sony Six. Besides IPL 2015, Sony Kix will also air the the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Australian Open Tennis Championship, National Football League (NFL), Rugby World Cup 2015, premier fight sports properties such as Glory World Series and CSI Boxing alongside some marquee events in football and rugby.
The channel will be launched in English but will have Tamil and Telugu-language feed in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, respectively. The network had recently announced the Bengali feed of the eighth edition of Indian Premiere League on Sony Aath. The cricketing tournament is set to kick-start on April 8.
NP Singh, CEO, MSM comments, "Sports has always been a core focus for us right from our early days. Our entertainment and movie channels such as SET, Max and Pix have also, over the years, broadcast some of the landmark sports events both in India and internationally. While the resounding success of SIX in less than 3 years was a deciding factor to launch KIX, there was also this need to cater to the clear demand seen in the market for largely, alternative sports programming. KIX promises to be a great addition to our mix of channels and will go on to complement SIX in more ways than one with exciting and iconic properties such as Pepsi IPL, UFC and NFL among many others."
The IPL 2015 telecast will be in conjunction with that of Six (English feed) and Max (Hindi feed).
Prasana Krishnan, EVP and business head of Sony Six will also head the new channel. He shares, "Traditionally, South India always had choice of watching any sport either in Hindi on in English. They didn't have an option to watch it in their language. Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are the two strongest regional markets and we thought of giving them an option."
"All these bigger sports will have more and more requirements of multi-language feed. Also, the volume of content has picked up. I struggle providing to the viewers with the ideal experience with one channel. There are many tournaments that happen at the same time. Fans want a holistic experience and we want to provide that. I don't want to compromise on viewer's choice just because I have another sport/ tournament which I think needs priority in terms of time-slot.We have already acquired and have a very strong portfolio of rights including to some of the major sports hitherto unseen on Indian television. We will continue to build on this and expand our range of offerings," Krishnan adds.
The MSM sports portfolio includes some of the biggest sporting events including The Pepsi IPL, 2014 FIFA World Cup, 2018 FIFA World Cup, UEFA EURO 2016, Qualifiers for UEFA EURO 2016, European Qualifiers for 2018 FIFA World Cup, The Australian Open Tennis Championship, Champions Tennis League, The NBA, TNA IMPACT WRESTLING, The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Copa Libertadores, Copa do Brasil, V8 Supercars and Race of Champions.