Sony Pictures Networks India signs exclusive media rights renewal with UEFA for additional three years

The prolonged association between SPNI and UEFA covers the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, and UEFA Conference League in India.

The Indian media conglomerate owned by Sony Pictures Television, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI), has extended its media rights deal with the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), the governing body of European football, for another three seasons.

This builds upon a seven-year partnership between the two organizations, ensuring continued broadcast of the UEFA Champions League (UCL), UEFA Europa League (UEL), and UEFA Conference League in India. The deal encompasses both TV and digital rights, providing Indian fans with access to roughly 1,600 matches featuring Europe’s top football clubs.

The games will be televised on Sony Sports Network and available for streaming on SonyLiv.

Rajesh Kaul, Chief Revenue Officer, Distribution and International Business, and Head, Sports Business, SPNI, said, “Since 2020, UEFA Champions League viewership in India has surged by over 51%, attributed largely to the introduction of regional language commentary. With the forthcoming transition to a new format, featuring over 125 additional matches and up to 38 early kickoff matches per season tailored for Indian audiences, we are confident that this growth will gain momentum further. As the ‘Home of Football’ in India, we eagerly anticipate showcasing over 1,600 highly competitive football matches across these leagues to our viewers. Between UEFA, Bundesliga, FA Cup, Saudi Pro League, Durand Cup, and DFB Pokal (German Cup), Sony Sports Network will live telecast and stream over 1,000 football matches every year. It also helps to get distribution and subscription revenues for linear TV and OTT service, SonyLIV.”

Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA Events SA, Marketing Director, UEFA, said, “There is a big vision in India for the development of football, going forward, and we should piggyback on that to grow our presence here. We can see that the size of the market is huge. We are not the number one sport. I guess we are in the top three together with cricket and Kabaddi. But we are looking okay in certain regions. And, even if we were to reach 10% of the population, it’s far more than any country in Europe. So, it’s a huge opportunity. If we look at audiences, and the commercial value compared to other markets, it is not massive, but we can see a great opportunity if we can grow the interest. And for our partners locally, I can tell you that our sponsors are very keen that we go strong in India because everybody has India, in their mind. We have a deal now until 2027, for the club competitions, and within the next three to four years, we hope to see a significant increase in our regional audience in the market.”

Sony Sports Network keeps Indian sports fans glued to their screens with a diverse offering. The sports broadcasting baron’s media rights portfolio consists of some renowned sports competitions – Indian Street Premier League (ISPL), Durand Cup, FA Cup, Bundesliga, Saudi Pro League (SPL), WWE, Australian Open, NBA, and more.

The UCL knockout stages heat up this week with the second leg of the round of 16. On Tuesday, FC Bayern Munich take on S.S. Lazio and Real Sociedad face Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). The following day, Real Madrid CF host RB Leipzig and Manchester City FC (MCFC) welcome FC Copenhagen.

The UEL knockout stage resumes on March 6, with the first leg of the round of 16. Sporting CP host Atalanta BC, followed by a cluster of matches on March 7. AS Roma square off with Brighton & Hove Albion F.C, while AC Milan take on Slavia Prague, and Liverpool FC (LFC) play against AC Sparta Praha.

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