Starting November 27, Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD will air one film a week every Sunday.
'Live and repeat of live' is usually how the programming schedule of any sports channel in India looks like today. An occassional detour would be the wrap around show of any marquee property that the sports channel would have in its portfolio. So, to provide that distinguished offering, Sony Pictures Networks - which inked a collaboration with sports broadcast giant ESPN last year, will now air ESPN Films in its television channel Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD.
"The audience in India has transformed over the years, and now with us having multiple channels and quality content from ESPN Film we thought this is the right time to experiment with inspiring sports stories." says Prasana Krishnan, sports cluster business head, and executive vice president, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI).
ESPN Films will be a weekly series where one new film will be aired every week, "A fresh film will be aired on Sunday (12.00 noon) and we will back it with Monday prime time repeat. The films will be available on both Sony Liv and ESPN.In for netizens," informs Krishnan.
The series will start with 'The Two Escobars' (investigative documentary on organised crime's involvement in sports in Colombia) on November 27, 2016. ESPN Films has a library of over 100 films, and to begin with once a week is the best way forward as per Krishnan.
Apart from regular loyal sports viewers ESPN Films will get new people to the fold too feels Krishnan. He says, "People who don't watch weekly club matches but love Maradona, or the sport, and would love to know inspiring real stories, I feel, will tune in to this."
At this point of time the broadcaster is yet to have a sponsor on board and SPNI is in no hurry either, "This is the first time a sports channel is doing something like this and with time we will come to know how the reaction is. We can go to advertiser and say we are airing an inspiring seires on Maradona's life back it and there will be advertisers backing it but at this point of time we are not looking for immediate monetisation, rather our primary focus is to build the category," adds Krishnan.
The films in the imemdiate line-up are The Two Escobars, Maradona 86, Muhammad and Larry, The 16th Man and Unmatched.