ESPN Launches Local Multi-sport Digital Products for India and the Subcontinent in collaboration with SPN

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ESPN Launches Local Multi-sport Digital Products for India and the Subcontinent in collaboration with SPN

~ Latest step in the collaboration between Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) and ESPN,

across both TV and digital ~

~ New website and app deliver new digital home for sports fans in India and the subcontinent ~

~ Mobile-first design delivers fast, fun, elegant access to industry-leading sports content on the go ~

 

True to its mission to serve sports fans anytime and anywhere, and in line with its long-term collaboration with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), ESPN has introduced an exciting new mobile-first multi-sport digital offering in India today with the launch of the ESPN.in website and the ESPN app.

With an emerging multi-sport landscape in India, the new site and app will further reinforce ESPN’s market leadership, authority and expertise in digital media, bringing an elegant, lively and more personal sports experience to Indian and subcontinent fans across mobiles, tablets and computers. ESPN.in site and app will also be carrying rights video content for sporting events from SONY LIV, SPN’s digital streaming platform, and SPN’s new SONY ESPN sports channels. India is the first market outside the United States to see the launch of a localized edition of ESPN’s signature app.

From mainstream sports in India and the subcontinent, to the best of ESPN’s comprehensive coverage of global sports that interest South Asian fans, ESPN.in and the ESPN app will bring fans closer to the games, leagues and athletes they love via world-class digital products.

Both the site and app will offer the best cricket coverage (powered by ESPNcricinfo), but also give fans a one-stop destination for world-class news, features and videos across sports currently underserved by any digital offering in the region, such as football, hockey, badminton, tennis, Formula 1, kabaddi and more.

The new ESPN.in and ESPN app brings Indian and subcontinent fans a clean, dynamic presentation for ESPN’s content and storytelling, including scores, news, video, features, stats and more. Additionally, they will feature LIVE streaming video content of select sporting events in collaboration with SONY LIV.

The launch of the app and website are the latest developments in the collaboration between Sony Pictures Networks India & ESPN. ESPN.in and the ESPN app, will both carry SONYESPN branding and will feature cross-promotional integration with SONY LIV, the digital streaming platform from Sony Pictures Networks (SPN). Earlier this year, this collaboration resulted in the launch of 2 new sports television channels; namely, SONY ESPN as well SONY ESPN HD. The long-term agreement leverages a winning combination of two of India’s most respected media brands, and serves Indian and subcontinent fans via their combined expertise and high-quality compelling content.

Together, ESPN.in, the ESPN app and ESPNcricinfo represent the best and most comprehensive digital sports offering in India, and are part of ESPN’s leading global digital sports portfolio. Each month, ESPN digital content reaches and engages more sports fans around the world than any other brand.

Comments:

Ramesh Kumar, Vice President, Head of ESPN India and South Asia:

“ESPN has a strong connection with fans in India and around the world because we are fans ourselves, driven by a similar obsession for sports. The launch of our multi-sport products showcases our digital leadership and offers sports fans outstanding news, features and video experiences around top sports of interest to Indian fans. They also provide the perfect complement to our television collaboration with Sony Pictures Networks India as well as reinforce ESPN’s signature ‘Game around the Game’ analysis across platforms”.

Uday Sodhi, Executive Vice President & Head, Digital Business, Sony Pictures Networks India  

“Sony LIV has been instrumental in bringing the best of entertainment to the digital millennials. Sports is an integral part of our offering. Together with ESPN, we are geared to increase our offering manifold.”

PERSONALIZATION

Passions for sport are intensely personal and ESPN has made it easy to personalize the user experience on both ESPN.in and the ESPN app — and rewards fans for doing so. A powerful personalization engine lets every fan select their favorite sports, leagues and teams, and then prominently delivers the latest scores, news, video and images related to those in a distinct ‘Favorites’ section. After registering on either the site or the app, a fan can set their Favorites, which will then work seamlessly across both the site and the app, and on any device – mobile, tablet, laptop, desktop – where they are logged in.

Users of the ESPN app can also set custom tailored notifications, so they will be alerted with all the latest developments for their Favorites, general news and more.

COMPREHENSIVE CONTENT AND COVERAGE

ESPN is the #1 digital sports publisher in India, and around the world – known for its insightful content with personality and its unbiased reporting and analysis with authority.

The new ESPN.in and ESPN app brings Indian and subcontinent fans a clean, dynamic presentation for ESPN’s content and storytelling, including scores, news, video, features, stats and more. Additionally, they will feature LIVE streaming video content of select sporting events in collaboration with SONY LIV.

“Our new multi-sport expansion will offer sports fans engaging and unmatched content across various formats – videos, scores, analysis, news, blogs and more,” said Sambit Bal, Editor-in-Chief, ESPN India and South Asia. “Nobody can cover the news, the games and the ‘Game-around-the-Game’ the way ESPN does because nobody has the team of world-class journalists and experts that ESPN does across the world of sport. The new site and app will be a dynamic, fun place for sports fans to be entertained, enlightened and engaged every day.”

Video will continue to play a growing role in the content mix on both ESPN.in and ESPN app.  In the past 18 months, ESPN digital video views in India (primarily on ESPNcricinfo and ESPN FC) have grown by +130%.

Now, both the new website and app will feature a broader, deeper library of video clips – including news, interviews, highlights and more.

Content highlights during the launch period include:

  • UEFA Euro 2016: Delivering on the promise of unmatched coverage and experience, the new site and app (in collaboration with SONY LIV) will feature LIVE streaming of SONY ESPN’s coverage of EURO 2016, as well as match video clips.ESPN and Sony Pictures Networks are also collaborating to bring for Indian football fans original pre-, post- and in-between-match programs around all Euro matches – LIVE on ESPN.in, the ESPN app and on SONY ESPN channels on television. . The programs will feature analysis, commentary and insights from a lineup of football experts including Robbie Fowler and Sunil Chhetri amongst othersThroughout the biggest football tournament of the year, ESPN’s coverage will leverage its extensive presence in France and worldwide network of football experts and journalists to bring enlightening and entertaining coverage, analysis and commentary to fans in India.Exclusively digital video programming will include “EURO After Dark” following each match day and “On the Road” with Alison Bender – a program capturing cultural aspects of the host nation and action away from the pitch.
  • ESPN World Fame 100: Who’s the most famous athlete in the world in 2016? Using a formula that combines players paychecks (both salary and endorsements) social media fan base and Google search popularity, ESPN was able to rank the 100 most famous athletes of the moment. The World Fame 100 uses data visualization, video, images and text to provide a snapshot of who’s at the top of the fame game in 2016.
  • Sushil Kumar: Wrestler Sushil Kumar, with medals in two Olympics, is India’s greatest current Olympian. His path to Rio, however, is challenged by the younger Narsingh Yadav, who holds the quota place and is almost certain of making it to the Games. ESPN’s Sharda Ugra examines the personal and regional rivalry and also looks at wrestling through the ages in the country.
  • Eugeneson Lyngdoh: Lyngdoh is the understated, quiet engine room of the Indian football team and Bengaluru FC. ESPN’s Debayan Sen traces his evolution, from his roots in a prominent political family in Meghalaya to being named footballer of the year.
  • Copa America Centenario: ESPN.in and the ESPN app (in collaboration with SONY LIV) will feature match videos of SONY ESPN’s television coverage of Copa America – this year’s other big football tournament. In addition, the site and app will bring fans extensive news, live scores, video highlights and analysis, with reporters on the ground in the USA. Coverage will also offer features on Lionel Messi, Chicharito, Douglas Costa and examinations of all the top teams.
  • Viswanathan Anand: In his mid-40s, Viswanathan Anand, India’s first chess Grandmaster and greatest chess player, is in the twilight of his career. In this interview, rare for its candour, he speaks to ESPN’s Susan Ninan on how aging affects a chess player — how he has grappled with technology, the flood of younger opponents, and the demands of fatherhood. It’s a fascinating insight into the mind of, arguably, deepest thinker of his generation.

FAST, ELEGANT DESIGN

Both the new ESPN.in and ESPN app offer sports fans a simple, clean and fast design – where content is the hero. Built on technology and content management platform that power the world’s #1 portfolio of digital sports properties, they reflect ESPN’s mobile-first focus with digital products, and allow easy discovery and navigation of ESPN’s enormous library of content and brings Indian fans easy, powerful personalization.

ESPN App: Core principles to the product design and development include:

  • Simple navigation – Scores and News main sections, navigation tabs across the bottom of the screen and a powerful search, make navigation easy and fast.
  • Ease of content discovery – a feed-based everscroll user interface constantly surfaces news content, and lets fans easily find out what is happening across the world of sport.
  • Personalization – a Favorites tab, accessible with a single touch, delivers a feed of the latest news and content from each users individual personalized Favorites.
  • One-touch social media sharing of all content

ESPN.in: The new ESPN.in feature responsive design, automatically adjusting to any screen, delivering a dynamically optimized experience for fans on Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, as well as laptops and desktops. The design and user experience is familiar to the app experience – delivering continuity for the Indian user – regardless of how they engage ESPN on digital devices.

ADVERTISING

The new ESPN.in and ESPN app will allow ESPN to continue to push digital advertising forward and provide greater scope for flexibility and innovation, delivering seamless solutions for advertisers across devices, and leverage the strengths of sports and ESPN – the world’s leading sports brand, unmatched content, mobile connection and social.

ESPN.in will deliver impactful, effective solutions for advertisers based on a new Universal Advertising Package (UAP), which offers the best advertising experience for each device, screen and orientation. The approach streamlines creative delivery and ad serving on the new ESPN.in, and ensures the best representation for brands, no matter the device. The move is designed to enable advertisers to take advantage of the increased effectiveness of multiplatform campaigns compared to single-platform.

ESPN IN INDIA

India is a key part of ESPN’s growth – in the Asia-Pacific region and globally – and its presence in the country is powered by the potent combination of ESPN’s leadership in digital sports and its long-term collaboration with Sony Pictures Networks India.

Serving the massive and vibrant sports fan community with entertaining, insightful and high-quality products and content, across digital devices and television, is at the core of ESPN’s strategic in India and the subcontinent. With offices in Bangalore and Mumbai, it boasts a world-class team that includes technologists, developers, editors, journalists and more that make up ESPN’s largest technology and digital editorial teams outside the United States.

ESPNcricinfo, already the ultimate destination for authentic, unbiased cricket news, analysis, statistics and scores, continues serving Indian cricket fans as it has for over 23 years.

 

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Paul Melvin

Sr. Director, Communications
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