From cricketing extravaganza Indian Premier League to key football properties such as El Clasico, FIFA U17 and UEFA Euro, multiple language feeds for sports properties is becoming a de rigueur.

Broadcasters and commercial stakeholders believe multiple language feeds will bring the sporting spectacle closer to the TV-viewing audience by presenting the content in a local format.

Instead of a dub-and-broadcast strategy, broadcasters are creating specific content in sync with regional feeds. This, they point out, will be also beneficial to regional advertisers.

Last week, Star India said it plans to have localized content for IPL. To begin with, the cricketing spectacle will be broadcast in six languages — Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and Kannada.

Star India is looking to engage with a total of 700 million viewers in the upcoming IPL season.

“By leveraging the power of television and Hotstar (Star’s OTT platform), IPL will be enjoyed by an unprecedented number of fans across geographies. What we did to our GEC (general entertainment channels) network, we are doing the same to IPL by localizing content in six different language and creating content destination. We will have analysis and chat shows revolving around the game in regional languages as well,” said Sanjay Gupta, MD, Star India.

Targeted ads

He said even from an advertiser’s point of view, this will be beneficial. “Advertisers can target specific markets with our regional content strategy. Additionally, Hotstar will simultaneously broadcast matches without any delay.” Last year, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had introduced regional content videos on its website to take the game to a wider audience.

“Over the years, IPL has become a household name and a family entertainer. With this initiative, we hope to make the IPL experience more enjoyable to a larger number of fans,” BCCI had said.

Star India, which has a strong regional sports portfolio, has broadcast Indian Super League, too, in six languages.

The league was televised in Bangla, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam, in addition to the regular English and Hindi feed across the country.

Sony Pictures Network, which has a clutch of international and domestic sports properties, too has been a front-runner in introducing regional feeds.

Last year, it broadcast UEFA Euro 2016 in six languages. This was the first for any international football tournament.

Earlier this week, the network said it will broadcast El Clasico, football world’s biggest rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona, for the first time in four languages — Hindi, Bangla, English and Malayalam.

SPN’s programming initiatives also include the return of Football Extraaa, a live studio show hosted by TV presenter Marc Edwards, and will feature panelists including former Liverpool, Manchester City and Bolton defender Mark Seagraves, and current Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri.

In addition, Football Extraaa will also feature other guest panelists via satellite link.

Sony also had similar regional language feeds for FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017.

Industry watchers note the thrust on regional content is not just to increase consumer engagement, but also with a clear view on advertising revenue. – The Hindu Business Line