In the midst of the IPL 2022, Reliance is gearing up for the commercial launch of its sports channel on April 15. The channel’s name is Sports 18, according to the patent filing. It will be part of Reliance’s Network18 company, which owns Viacom and just secured FIFA World Cup broadcasting rights.
Sports 18Channel to be Launched
In the last 12 months, Reliance and Viacom’s joint venture won media rights to LaLiga, the FIFA World Cup 2022, Serie A, and French Ligue 1. The matches are now broadcast on Viacom’s OTA network Voot and VH1 live.
It will now also be moved to Sports 18. Badminton World Federation Rights were also recently purchased by the platform. Package rates for the sports channel have also been released by some DTH providers.
According to rumors, the channel would launch on April 15 alongside Sports 18 1, Sports 18 1 HD, Sports 18 2, Sports 18 2 HD, and Hindi channel Khel18 on all major DTH and cable providers. The once-duopolistic market between Star and Sony will soon be a three-horse competition.
Pricing of the Channels
Although the sources could not independently verify the information, the pricing of the channels is also out on several DTH providers. The channels will cost Rs 8 per channel, with the Hindi version becoming a free-to-air channel at a later date.
Viacom, which is supported by Reliance, is set to enter the IPL Media Rights market with the launch of the channel. After declaring that the tender would be floated on October 25, 2021, the BCCI has been delaying it for some time. Viacom appointed Anil Jayaraj as CEO to help Reliance’s huge endeavor succeed. For nearly seven years, Jayaraj served as Star Sports’ EVP Ad Sales.