SPN extends, expands Oz Open rights deal

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MUMBAI: Tennis Australia and Sony Pictures Networks India Private Limited (SPN) Tuesday announced a three-year extension of their broadcast relationship at the official Australian Open 2020 Media Launch here.

SPN remains the exclusive television and digital rights holder for India and the subcontinent and will provide more than 200 hours of extensive coverage for each edition of the Australian Open. It will now be the home for Australian Open and all the lead-up events including the Adelaide International ATP 250 event. SPN’s broadcast will be on a minimum of two English language linear television channels, along with streaming of all 16 match courts on SPN’s video on demand service, SonyLIV.

Neville Bastawalla, Sony Pictures Networks India head – Marketing and On-Air Promotions, Sports Channels, said that select matches would also be broadcast in Hindi during the Australian Open. Bastawalla confirmed that there would be a Hindi feed for the finals.

“We are delighted to not just extend but also expand our relationship with Sony Pictures Networks in India from 2020,” Tennis Australia CEO and Australian Open Tournament director Craig Tiley said.

“This year’s Australian Open attracted record audiences in India which saw the key international market rise to our eighth biggest worldwide, and the third in Asia behind Japan and China. 

“Sony Pictures Networks’ commitment to providing their most comprehensive coverage allows us to engage with Indian fans in a deeper and more meaningful way by going beyond the on-court action to tell the story of the Australian Open from all angles,” Tiley said.

Rajesh Kaul, chief revenue officer, Distribution and head – Sports Business, Sony Pictures Networks India, said: “One of the most coveted titles for any tennis player, the Australian Open has been the most watched Grand Slam in India for the past two years. We are proud to extend our relationship with Tennis Australia and will be providing over 200 hours of live and non-live content for each edition of the Grand Slam for the next three years. Our coverage will include the live matches, studio shows, highlights, build-up thematic shows, Australian Open classics and more along with a dedicated AO section on SonyLIV.”

In addition to producing all matches live from each tournament, Tennis Australia will also provide quality Indian-specific, original programming content year-round, including match highlights, player, tournament and city profiles, best-of, behind the scenes and more. Select matches will also be broadcast in Hindi during the Australian Open.

Known as the ‘Grand Slam of Asia-Pacific’, the Australian Open is held in January in Melbourne, Australia every year and is among the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world. 

Australian Open 2019 also became the highest attended Grand Slam event, with more than 780,000 people watching the matches live onsite.

Australian Open 2020, presented by Kia Motors in association with Luzhou Laojiao and Rolex, will take place at Melbourne Park from 20 January to 2 February. Australian Open tickets including ground passes, which allow access to Melbourne Arena, are on sale via ticketmaster.com.au.